Picture used for illustrative purpose. File
Wall Street's main indexes were set to slip at the open on Thursday as weekly jobless claims posted a surprise increase, the strongest signal yet that more fiscal support would be necessary to avoid another round of mass layoffs and furloughs.
The S&P 500 is now flat on the year again and is hovering just above correction territory after peaking on Sept. 2.
The Nasdaq entered correction territory earlier this month, but the blue-chip Dow has outperformed its peers on demand for value-linked stocks such as industrials .
At 8:36 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 163 points, or 0.61%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 24.5 points, or 0.76%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 139 points, or 1.28%.
The Labor Department's most timely report on the economy showed 870,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the week ended Sept. 19.
Job cuts have spread to industries such as financial services and technology that were not initially impacted by the mandated business closures in mid-March because of insufficient demand.
But waning hopes of more stimulus, signs of choppy economic growth and a sell-off in heavyweight technology-related names have weighed on U.S. stocks this month.
"The cloud of uncertainties continues to grow," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
"The coronavirus is now back in the front pages and the market is now really fearing the uncertainties of the elections. As we get closer to the end of the month, the downward trend is intensifying."
Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Netflix Inc and Google-parent Alphabet Inc, which have led a Wall Street rally since April, fell between 1.2% and 1.9% in premarket trading.
A 3% slide put Tesla Inc on course for its third straight day of declines following an underwhelming "Battery Day" presentation by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.
Big banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Wells Fargo & Co and JPMorgan Chase & Co edged higher.
Nikola Corp, which is set for one of its biggest weekly declines ever, tumbled another 9.2% as Wedbush downgraded the stock to "underperform".
Accenture Plc fell 6.1% after the IT consulting firm forecasted current-quarter revenue below expectations and missed estimates for fourth-quarter sales, hurt by lower spending from clients impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A snarling warning from US President Donald Trump ahead of trade talks with China rattled stock markets on Tuesday, as brewing no-deal Brexit worries also roughed up the pound and Irish bonds again.
For the first time since the Great Recession a decade ago, the US Federal Reserve is poised to cut interest rates, shoring up America’s defenses as the global economy weakens.
World shares were trading in a narrow range on Thursday after major US indexes hit record highs in a pre-Independence Day rally, buoyed by the easing of trade tensions between the US and China.
The US economy grew at a record pace in the third quarter as the government injected more than $3 trillion worth of pandemic relief which fueled consumer spending, but the deep scars from the COVID-19 recession could take a year or more to heal.
Aircraft manufacturers are hit by the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation industry. The number of global commercial aircraft orders was zero during the month of September.
Peugeot manufacturer PSA Group returned to revenue growth in its core autos division in the third quarter, recovering from a slump during coronavirus lockdowns, though the prospect of new restrictions hit French shares.
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) trimmed its economic growth and inflation forecasts for the current fiscal year (2020-21) on Thursday but offered a more upbeat view on the recovery outlook, signalling that it has delivered enough stimulus for the time being.