Stock futures trade lower on stimulus concerns

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U.S. equity futures are trading lower ahead of the Thursday trading session on Wall Street.

The major futures indexes suggest a decline of more than 1% when the opening bell rings.

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On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve talked about possibly reducing U.S. economic stimulus.

Minutes of the latest Fed meeting in June gave an upbeat outlook for a U.S. economy recovery and showed board members discussed how and when they might reduce monthly bond purchases that inject money into the financial system.

Before Thursday’s opening bell, the Labor Department is out with its tally of new claims for unemployment benefits for last week. Expectations are for 350,000, down from the prior week’s pandemic low of 364,000 claims. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, are anticipated to drop by 134,000 to 3.335 million, which would mark a new pandemic low.

In Europe, London’s FTSE declined 1.3%, Germany’s DAX was down 1.2% and France’s CAC lost 1.8%.

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Japanese officials prepared to declare a coronavirus state of emergency during the Olympics due to a surge in infections.

Market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong retreated. 

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 0.9%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2.9%  and China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8%.

Wall Street closed at a new high, propelled by gains for technology, industrial and health care stocks.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34681.79 +104.42 +0.30%
SP500 S&P 500 4358.13 +14.59 +0.34%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14665.063071 +1.42 +0.01%

The benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.3% to 4,358.13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.3% to 34,681.79. The Nasdaq composite gained less than 0.1% to a record 14,665.06.

Apple rose 1.8%, Otis added 2% and Biogen gained 3%. Energy and other sectors slid.

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In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost $1.14 to $71.05 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.17 to $72.20 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, shed 99 cents to $72.46 per barrel in London. It sank $1.10 the previous session to $73.43.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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