Stock Futures Down as Jobless Claims Disappoint
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were lower early Thursday following data showing initial jobless claims remained elevated last week.
Sentiment also took a hit after decline in eurozone business confidence and a weaker than expected earnings report from oil major Exxon(XOM) .
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down by 36 points, or 31.7 points below fair value, at 13,004. Futures for the S&P 500 were losing 5.1 points, or 4.4 points below fair value, at 1382, and futures for the Nasdaq were off by 8.5 points, or 9.2 points below fair value, at 2696.
Stocks finished higher Wednesday with the Nasdaq outperforming the broad market, soaring 2.3%, because of a massive post-earnings rally in Apple(AAPL) . The results of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting caused some fluctuation in the major U.S. equity indices but there wasn't a dramatic reaction to the news that the central bank was leaving its interest rate target intact.
Chairman Ben Bernanke once again left the door for more quantitative easing ever so slightly ajar during his press conference.
Before the open, the Labor Department reported that initial claims for the week ending Apr. 21 fell by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000 from the previous week's upwardly-revised figure of 389,000. The consensus was looking for initial claims to decline to 375,000 last week from the originally-reported 386,000 the prior week.
The four-week moving average now stands at 381,750, an increase of 6,250 from the previous week's upwardly-revised average of 375,500. Continuing claims rose 3,000 to 3.315 million in the week ended April 14.
"The pace of jobless claims remained very elevated, with the number of jobless filings declining only marginally," says Millan Mulraine, senior U.S. strategist, TD Securities.