Market Overview

Stock futures turn flat after better-than-expected jobless claims

U.S. stock index futures were trading near the flatline early Thursday, as a better-than-expected reading on weekly jobless claims supported sentiment on Wall Street. Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average pointed to a slight gain 30 points at the open. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were flat. First-time filings for unemployment insurance in the week ended Feb. 27 totaled 745,000, a touch below the Dow Jones estimate of 750,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Investors also awaited a speech from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who is set to join The Wall Street Journal Jobs Summit to talk about the economy later Thursday. Treasury yields, which have been keeping investors on edge in recent weeks, edged up once again. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield traded slightly higher at 1.47%. Last week, the rate soared to a high of 1.6% in a sudden move that sparked a big sell-off in stocks.

Stocks posted heavy losses during Wednesday’s regular trading as rising bond yields spooked investors. The S&P 500 dipped 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 119 points, or 0.38%, lower. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer, falling 2.7% as tech names declined. The index is on track to post its third straight negative week — the longest weekly losing streak since September.

Major averages started the week with a surge with the Dow jumping 600 points on Monday, but the rally failed to carry through amid lingering concerns about higher interest rates and tech valuations. Additional stimulus measures could also inject optimism into the market. The Senate is currently debating the $1.9 trillion relief package passed by the House on Saturday.

Stock futures turn flat after better-than-expected jobless claims, CNBC, Mar 4

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