US stocks were set for a downbeat trading session Thursday, after closing deep in the red during the previous trading session and amid a raft of readings on the US economy and another appearance before Congress by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
Oil prices nudged lower with global benchmark Brent crude down 0.53% while US West Texas Intermediate crude was down 0.57% after official data showed a higher-than-expected rise in US crude and gasoline stockpiles.
Data released at 8:30 am showed new unemployment claims dropped 10,000 to 210,000 in the Feb. 24 week from prior week’s level of 222,000. Personal income increased 0.4% vs. an 0.3% forecast and consumer spending rose 0.2%. The modest spending increase followed gains of 0.4% December.
At 9:45 am, forecasters see the PMI manufacturing index coming in at a final of 55.7 in February compared to January’s 55.5 level.
At 10 am, the ISM manufacturing index is expected to come in at 58.6 in February vs January’s 59.1. Construction spending is seen rising 0.3% in January.
In equities, shares of AmTrust Financial Services ( AFSI ) were 12% higher pre-bell after the company agreed to be acquired for $13.50 per share.
U.S. PRE-MARKET INDICATORS
-Dow Jones Industrial down 0.32%
-S&P 500 futures down 0.17%
-Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.09%
Nikkei down 1.56%
Hang Seng up 0.62%
Shanghai Composite up 0.44%
FTSE-100 down 0.77%
DAX-30 down 1.56%
PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH
(+/-) Large cap tech: mixed
(+/-) Chip stocks: mixed
(+/-) Software stocks: mixed
(+) Hardware stocks: unchanged to higher
(+/-) Internet stocks: mixed
(-) Oil stocks: unchanged to lower
(+/-) Biotech stocks: mixed
(+/-) Drug stocks: mixed
(-) Financial stocks: unchanged to lower
(+/-) Retail stocks: mixed
(+/-) Industrial stocks: mixed
(-) Airlines: unchanged to lower
(+/-) Autos: mixed
(+) NVAX (+28.1%) Says NanoFlu influenza vaccine demonstrates improved immune responses vs egg-based, high-dose flu vaccine
(+) MNGA (+37.4%) JV Wins $7.2 million grant for eco-innovation
(+) KSS (+2.8%) Tops Q4 estimates
(-) GDDY (-1.5%) Shareholders to sell almost 17 million class A shares in offering
(-) ATRA (-5.3%) Prices stock offering at $35 per share
(-) LB (-7.2%) Tops Q4 estimates, Sees Q1 EPS below Street
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