Stock futures moved sharply lower as parts of Europe started another round of lockdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. lawmakers expressed doubt that another round of fiscal stimulus would happen.
Stock Futures Fall, European COVID-19 Lockdowns Return
France said it would impose a new curfew in Paris to curb the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country, while the U.K. imposed a three-tiered lockdown system put forth by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Liverpool is the first city to be placed under the tightest restrictions, while speculation swirls that London may be next.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were off 263 points, a decline of 0.9%, while NASDAQ Composite and S&P 500 futures were both down more than 1%. Thursday is on pace to be the third straight down day for stocks.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||28514||-165.81||-0.58%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||11768.728778||-95.17||-0.80%|
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, told FOX Business Wednesday, there are funds to begin stimulus efforts but blamed the Democrats for dragging their feet. “They are holding up relief for hard-working Americans,” he said.
A spokesman for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi continues to provide updates on the ongoing talks.
Meanwhile, President Trump’s delivered an upbeat speech to the Economic Club of New York, in which he promised a “big middle-income tax cut,” as well as reduced tax rates for businesses if he won a second term.
SOCIAL MEDIA IN SPOTLIGHT
Social media companies Twitter Inc. and Facebook, Inc. were in the spotlight for a second day after both companies limited the exposure of a New York Post story on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Ken Buck, asked for an investigation into the practice by the Justice Department.
Earnings season continues, with investors getting looks into a wide swath of the U.S. economy.
|WBA||WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE INC.||35.91||-0.27||-0.75%|
Prior to the market open, Morgan Stanley will release its quarterly results, as will Charles Schwab Corporation, Walgreens Boots Alliance.
|TSM||TAIWAN SEMICONT MAN.||88.60||-1.04||-1.16%|
Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co., the largest semiconductor manufacturer by market cap, said its third-quarter net profit rose 36%. Shares were off in early Thursday trading.
|ISRG||INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC.||751.08||-4.27||-0.57%|
After the market closes, Intuitive Surgical, Inc. will release its quarterly results.
ECONOMIC NEWS BARRAGE
Thursday will see a barrage of economic news, as traders digest initial jobless claims, manufacturing data, import and export prices and crude oil supplies.
For the week ending Oct. 10, economists are expecting 830,000 people to file initial unemployment claims, down slightly from the prior week, which saw 840,000 first-time filers. Continuing claims are expected to be approximately 11 million, as the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the U.S. workforce.
Philadelphia Fed Index and Empire State Manufacturing Data will be released at 8:30 a.m., with economists looking for readings of 16 and 14, respectively.
Import and export prices for September will also be released at 8:30 a.m.
Later, traders will see the weekly release of natural gas and crude oil inventory data for the week ending Oct. 10. Crude oil data was pushed back from Wednesday because of the Columbus Day holiday.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 2.5% to $40.02 a barrel, while gold dipped below the $1,900 an ounce level, declining 0.5%.