Dow futures were pointing to an over 200 point decline at Thursday's open, trimming steeper overnight losses, after a top Chinese disease expert said the latest outbreak of coronavirus cases in Beijing is under control. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke a three-session winning streak as stocks that would benefit most from a U.S. economic reopening struggled throughout the day.
Before Wall Street opened Thursday, the Labor Department announced that nearly 1.51 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week. While still historically off the charts, that number is a continuation of the slowing pace of claims seen in recent weeks. Economists had expected 1.3 million initial jobless claims last week. Continuing claims, or those who have been receiving unemployment benefits for at least two weeks, nudged lower to 20.5 million.
The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index for June unexpectedly came in positive with a 27.5 reading. Economists had expected a minus 20 reading compared to the minus 43.1 in May.
The chief epidemiologist of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that Covid-19 cases may still be discovered in the coming days in Beijing through testing, but they won't be newly transmitted ones. The bulk of the more than 100 new cases in the recent Beijing cluster trace back to the sprawling Xinfadi wholesale produce market, just outside China's capital city. Before last week, Chinese health officials said Beijing had gone 50 days without any domestically transmitted Covid-19 cases.
Hong Kong Disneyland reopened Thursday for the first time since late January. The park reopened to a limited number of local visitors and with enhanced health measures. The theme park, which reported losses for at least the past three years, is jointly owned by Disney and the Hong Kong government. In the U.S., Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California are set to reopen next month.
Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas reported record spikes in coronavirus infections again this week as most states across America moved forward with reopening plans. In Oklahoma, where President Donald Trump plans to hold an indoor campaign rally on Saturday, the governor asked the campaign to move the rally to a bigger outdoor venue.
A coronavirus model, once cited by the White House, is projecting more than 200,000 Americans could die of Covid-19 by Oct. 1, an increase of 17% since last week's forecast. A total of over 117,700 people in the U.S. have died from the virus, by far the most of any nation and a quarter of all Covid-19 fatalities in the world.
Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to agree to trade policies that would help with his reelection effort, according to NBC News reporting on a new book by former national security advisor John Bolton. NBC News obtained a copy of Bolton's book in advance of its planned release on Tuesday. Earlier this week, the Justice Department sued to block the release. The president, just after midnight Thursday on the East Coast, slammed Bolton on Twitter.
Garrett Rolfe, the fired Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks on Friday in a Wendy's parking lot, has been charged with felony murder, according to prosecutors. Police body-camera and surveillance video showed Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, cooperating with a sobriety test. But when the White officers tried to arrest him, Brooks struggled, got away with one of the officers' Tasers. Brooks was shot twice in the back and died. The other officer involved, Devin Brosnan, faces charges including aggravated assault. The charges came as nationwide protests against police brutality and racism were sparked by the killing of George Floyd by a White officer in Minneapolis last month.
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