US markets may be in focus today, ahead of a basket of economic reports scheduled for release later in the day.
Context: US stocks closed higher on Thursday, snapping the two-day losing streak. Gains were supported by a strong rise in banking stocks. Investor sentiment remained positive despite another disappointing unemployment report.
Details: Stocks had tumbled earlier in the day after another dismal report from the Labor Department, which showed around 2.98 million Americans filing for jobless benefits in the week ending May 9. The new jobless claims took the covid-19 outbreak total to around 36.5 million in two months.
After losing more than 450 points earlier in the session, the Dow made a strong comeback and ended the day higher by 377 points on Thursday. The upturn was led by American Express and JPMorgan & Chase.
Shares of Cisco Systems gained 4.5% after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings. Applied DNA Sciences’s shares jumped more than 70% after the US FDA authorized the company’s covid-19 test.
The Dow spiked 1.6% to end at 23,625, while the S&P 500 gained 1.2% to reach 2,852. The Nasdaq 100 climbed 0.9% to end the day at 8,944. This week, the Dow and S&P 500 have each lost more than 2.6%.
In other markets, crude-oil rose following reports of production cuts, with WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude for June delivery gaining 9% to settle at $27.56 per barrel on Thursday.
What to watch: Investors may continue to focus on daily coronavirus numbers, with the total cases exceeding 4,444,670 globally. The US has so far confirmed more than 1,417,880 cases with 85,900 deaths.
Markets await various economic reports from the US, including retail sales, NY Empire state manufacturing index, industrial production, business inventories, job openings and University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index.
Retail sales, which dipped 8.4% in March, are expected to decline another 12% in April. The New York Empire State Manufacturing Index is projected to rise to -63.5 in May, from April’s reading of -78.2. Analysts expect industrial production to decline 11.5% in April, while business inventories are projected to slide 0.2% in March. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index is expected to fall to 68 in May, from 71.8 in April.
Other Markets: European indices were trading higher as of 9:00am GMT, with the FTSE 100, German 30 and French 40 up by 1.2%, 1.3% and 1.2%, respectively.