U.S. stock futures pointed to a mostly lower open on Thursday morning as the market struggled to recover from its worst day in months. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 92 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 futures were 0.1% lower and Nasdaq 100 futures eked out a gain of 0.3%. A day earlier, the Dow dropped more than 900 points for its worst session since June 11. The S&P 500 also suffered its worst pullback since mid-June, dropping 3.5%. The Nasdaq had its biggest one-day loss since Sept. 8, suffering a loss of 3.7%. A slew of corporate earnings results is due Thursday afternoon, including from tech giants Apple, Amazon and Alphabet.
The number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 80,662 on Wednesday, topping a previous high of 79,303, while 996 additional Covid-19 deaths were reported, according to a tally kept by NBC. Coronavirus cases have been rising sharply in the U.S. as well as in Europe, leading some states and countries to reimpose more restrictive social distancing measures. "If things do not change, if they continue on the course we're on, there's going to be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases and hospitalizations, and deaths," White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC's "The News with Shepard Smith" on Wednesday night.
The U.S. economy grew at a faster-than-expected rate in the third quarter following a steep downturn in the previous three-month period. U.S. GDP accelerated at a 33.1% rate last quarter, topping a Dow Jones estimate of 32%. During the second quarter, the U.S. economy suffered a 31.4% contraction. Weekly unemployment benefits data was also better than expected as initial claims fell to their lowest level since March.
Moderna said it is preparing to launch its coronavirus vaccine candidate globally, noting it has already taken more than $1 billion in deposits from governments awaiting the drug. The vaccine contains a genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA, which scientists hope provokes the immune system to fight the virus. Moderna shares rose more than 2% in the premarket.
United Airlines said on Thursday it plans to offer preflight Covid-19 testing for some travelers going to London next month. The trial will run from Nov. 16 to Dec. 11. United said it will pay for Abbott Laboratories' rapid tests for Monday, Wednesday and Friday departures between Newark, New Jersey, and London. Travelers who don't want to be tested will be moved to other flights "guaranteeing everyone on board other than children under two will have tested negative before departure," the airline said.