U.S. stock futures trimmed losses Thursday after the government reported better-than-expected data for jobless claims. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dipped 86 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 futures also were down 0.2% while Nasdaq 100 futures were down by 0.2%. The government's weekly jobless report said 1.186 million people filed new claims for unemployment compensation last week. Economists expected 1.423 million. The report, along with Thursday's market moves, came a day after the major stock averages posted solid gains, with the S&P 500 less than 2% from its record high.
The Trump administration threatened on Wednesday the use of executive action to provide coronavirus relief as negotiations still haven't led to a deal. "If Congress can't get it done, the president of the United States will," White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN. One of the key issues keeping both sides from reaching a deal is the extension of a weekly unemployment benefit that expired last week. Democrats want to extend the benefit at the original $600-per-week rate while Republicans argue that's a disincentive for people to go back to work.
China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, called out the U.S., saying it is trying to start a cold war between the world's largest economies that would plunge the world into "chaos and division." In an interview with state media Xinhua News Agency, Wang said: "We have no intention of becoming another United States. China does not export ideology, and never interferes in other countries' internal affairs." Tensions between both countries has been rising recently, as the U.S. criticizes China's handling of the initial coronavirus outbreak.
Securities and Exchange Commission filings showed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold more than $3 billion in his company's stock this week. The sale was part of a prearranged trading plan, the filings said. This week's sale brings Bezos' total cash out of the company for 2020 to more than $7.2 billion.
The parent company of Quicken Loans, Rocket Cos., said its initial public offering was priced at $18 per share. That's below a target range of $20 per share to $22 per share. The stock is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the ticker RKT.