Dow futures cut their gains and turned lower Thursday after weekly initial jobless claims came in higher than expected. Blue chips rose for a third session in a row Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.6% on reported progress on U.S. coronavirus stimulus talks. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also finished higher. While the Dow remained down 5% in 2020, the S&P 500 was up 1.4% and the Nasdaq was up 19% this year.
On Thursday's economic calendar, initial jobless claims exceeded 1 million for the 18th straight week. The Labor Department said that new filings for unemployment benefits last week totaled nearly 1.42 million. That was greater than the 1.3 million that economists were expecting.
Senate Republicans announced Wednesday evening a "fundamental agreement" with White House negotiators on how to move forward with a new relief bill. The legislation — which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants to keep under $1 trillion — would serve as a starting point in talks with House Democrats, who passed a $3.4 trillion coronavirus relief bill in May.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told CNBC's "Mad Money" that additional financial aid to Americans is needed to support the economy, including an extension of the federal $600 per week boost to state unemployment benefits.
Republicans, who have generally wanted to let that jobless program expire at the end of the month, would be willing to extend the enhanced unemployment insurance "based on approximately 70% wage replacement," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday.
Shares of Twitter jumped 5% in Thursday's premarket trading after the social media network delivered strong user growth in the second quarter. The results come one week after Twitter suffered a serious hack compromising the accounts of major politicians and CEOs.
Shares of Southwest Airlines lost about 1% in the premarket. The Dallas-based carrier posted a net-loss of $915 million and it warned that air travel demand will remain weak without a coronavirus vaccine. American Airlines saw its shares move modestly higher in premarket trading after the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier posted a $2.1 billion net-loss in the second quarter.
Skyrocketing shares of Tesla added another 4% in Thursday's premarket after the electric auto maker booked its fourth straight quarter of profits, which means it can now be considered for inclusion in the S&P 500 index. Second-quarter earnings and revenue beat estimates. On Tesla's post-earnings call, CEO Elon Musk said the company will build its newest gigafactory near Austin, Texas.
Shares of Dow-stock Microsoft fell 1.5% in the premarket after the software and cloud giant warned on revenue outlook. In the second quarter, Microsoft issued better-than-expected earnings and revenue, saying the increase in home-based workers boosted its cloud computing business. However, the pandemic slowed sales to small businesses and slowed ad revenue at its LinkedIn unit.
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that racial-injustice protests over the police killing of George Floyd "presumably triggered a broader relaxation" of coronavirus mitigation efforts, a substantial increase in travel, and increased gatherings on the nation's beaches and in packed bars. He also said officials are "monitoring and aggressively acting to control the infection in Texas, Arizona, California, Florida."
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