Stock futures kicked off the overnight session TKTKTK Thursday as market participants considered mounting signals of labor market devastation amid the still-escalating coronavirus pandemic.
In the past two weeks alone, an astonishing nearly 10 million American filed for initial unemployment insurance, underscoring the mounting strain the outbreak has unleashed on the U.S. economy. With this record-breaking data in hand, the Congressional Budget Office said in a new report Thursday it expected the unemployment rate to top 10% in the second quarter, rising levels from the peak of the global financial crisis.
The Department of Labor’s official March jobs report set for release Friday is expected to reflect just modest impacts from the coronavirus since the survey period ended the week of the 12th. But with the pandemic continuing unabated and social distancing measures set to remain in place longer than initially anticipated, economists are bracing for data to deteriorate much more sharply in prints to come.
As of Thursday afternoon, the coronavirus had infected one million people globally, crossing that level for the first time since the first case of the virus was reported just four months ago in China. The death toll rose above 50,000 globally.
In the U.S., cases topped 236,000, according to Johns Hopkins data.
The energy sector remains another focal point tied to the coronavirus pandemic, with crude oil futures halving in value since the beginning of March. But on Thursday, the commodity posted a solid rebound: U.S. West Texas intermediate crude oil futures posted their largest one-day percent advance in history at more than 24%, after President Donald Trump suggested Saudi Arabia and Russia would pare back production by millions of barrels of oil per day and deescalate a price war begun early last month.
6:01 p.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures open little changed
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 6:01 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): down 0.47%, or -12 points to 2,557.75
Dow futures (YM=F): down 0.45% or -98 points to 21,653.00
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): down 0.32% or -25 points to 7,761.25
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