Coronavirus update, earnings, jobless claims: 3 things to watch for in the markets on Thursday

In this photo illustration, packages of Beyond Meat "The Beyond Burger" sit on a table, June 13, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Here are the most important things to know about Thursday before you hit the door.

1. Coronavirus update

Investors will be looking for any updates on the spreading deadly coronavirus that has roiled markets this week. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar confirmed a new case of the coronavirus in the U.S., bringing the total to 60. Plus, Pakistan confirmed its first two cases on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump will be addressing the virus in a press conference at 6:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday.

2. Earnings continue

We'll get earnings from electronics retailer Best Buy and alternative meat company Beyond Meat on Thursday.

Analysts polled by FactSet are expecting Best Buy to report earnings per share of $2.75 on revenue of $15.051 billion. This compares to the $2.72 per share and $14.801 billion in sales Best Buy reported a year prior. The fourth quarter includes the important holiday sales, but other retailers that have reported showed weakness in electronics.

Plant-based meat company Beyond Meat is expected to basically break even for the quarter, after earnings 6 cents per share the prior quarter, according to FactSet. Revenue is expected to come in at $81.50 million, compared to the $91.961 million earned in the previous three-month period.

Retailer JCPenney will also report earnings on Wednesday.

3. Jobless claims

We'll get a read on the health of the labor market on Thursday when the Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. Economists are estimating 214,000 Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, according to Dow Jones. This would be up from the previous week's 210,000 claims.

Earlier this month, the closely watched Labor Department report showed nonfarm payrolls surged 225,000 in January, well above Wall Street estimates for a 158,000 gain.

Major events (all times ET):

8:30 a.m. Initial claims

8:30 a.m. Durable goods

8:30 a.m. Real GDP (Q4 second reading)

10:00 a.m. Pending home sales

11:00 a.m. Kansas City Fed survey

11:30 a.m. Chicago Fed Pres. Charles Evans speaks

3:30 p.m. Cleveland Fed Pres. Loretta Mester speaks

7:00 p.m. Cleveland Fed Pres. Loretta Mester speaks

Major earnings:

Best Buy (before the bell)

JCPenney (before the bell)

Keurig Dr. Pepper (before the bell)

Beyond Meat (after the bell)