Stock Futures Fall Ahead of Claims Data
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were declining Thursday as skepticism over the latest labor report added to concerns about the global economy.
There was also some lingering disappointment about the minutes from the last Federal Reserve policy meeting, which were released late in Wednesday's session. The transcript showed that "few" members of the central bank's open market committee were in favor of additional stimulus at the June 19-20 meeting and suggested macro conditions would have to deteriorate much further in order to justify another round of quantitative easing.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were slumping 86 points, or 90.53 points below fair value, at 12,450. Futures for the S&P 500 were down by 10.8 points, or 10.9 points below fair value, at 1326. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 were down 17.75 points, or 21.44 points below fair value, at 2544.
"The minutes of the last FOMC basically told investors to get their rampant expectations of further quantitative policy firmly under control, because it is not happening any time soon," said Paul Donavan, global economist at UBS.
The Labor Department said before the bell that initial jobless claims for the week ended July 7 fell to 350,000, the lowest levels since March 2008 and a decrease of 26,000 from the upwardly revised 376,000 figure from the preceding week. Economists poll by Thomson Reuters had expected a decline to 372,000.
"We note that each summer, auto shutdowns give the government trouble and the seasonal are very unreliable," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG. "We absolutely do not believe this is a 'real' number."
The four-week moving average was 376,500, a decrease of 9,750 from the previous week's average of 386,250.
Continuing claims for the week ended June 30 was 3.304 million, a decrease of 14,000 from the prior week's level of 3.318 million.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that U.S. import prices fell 2.7% in June, following a 1.2% decrease in May. Lower prices for both fuel and nonfuel imports contributed to the overall decline. U.S. export prices fell 1.7% in June after a 0.4% drop the previous month.