Wall Street equity futures pointed to a lower open on Thursday, indicating a resumption of its downturn after a labor market report became the latest datapoint to show the economy has stalled.
New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits edged down last week, pointing to a marginal improvement in the labor market, the Labor Department said. For details, see
Essentially, claims have stalled and the growth of employment has stalled, which is very consistent with what we know to be the case for the economy, said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer of Hugh Johnson Advisors LLC in Albany, New York.
Everything, the claims numbers included, says the same thing -- the economy has stopped.
S&P 500 futures dropped 11.9 points and were well below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 87 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures slid 17.25 points.
The S&P 500 index rose on Wednesday after seven straight losing sessions, but worries about the economy kept investors jittery and trading volatile with Friday's key payroll report looming.
Further weighing on futures were comments from European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet that downside risks may have intensified.
Retailers will be in focus as chain stores reported healthy July sales increases. Deep discounts and the warmest weather in decades brought shoppers to malls.
But teen retailer Aeropostale Inc
General Motors Co
Kraft Foods Inc
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)