Dow futures climb slightly Wednesday evening ahead of jobless claims and parade of Fed speakers

U.S. stock-index futures were trading slightly higher Wednesday evening, but have been choppy, as investors prepare for a report on weekly jobless claims and a host of speakers on the Federal Reserve that might offer more insights about the state of a rapidly deteriorating economy due to national procedures in place to avert a deeper crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
were trading up 52 points, or 0.2%, at 23,569, at last check Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time. Those for the S&P 500 index
were trading 0.3% higher at 2,841.25, while Nasdaq-100 futures were gaining 0.4% at 8,987.75. During Wednesday’s regular session, the Dow
fell 218.45 points, or 0.9%, to finish at 23,664.64. The S&P 500
shed 20.02 points, or 0.7%, to end at 2,848.42, with declines for those benchmarks coming in the last hour of trade. The Nasdaq Composite
meanwhile, climbed 45.27 points, or 0.5%, to close at 8,854.39, only 1.3% off for the year to date, as investors continue to buy technology-related betting that they will fare the best in the aftermath of the deadly epidemic. Markets have struggled during the homestretch of regular trade on Wall Street lately as investors fight to identify a catalyst to drive stocks to further gains against a backdrop of history-setting economic pain playing out and that which also lies ahead. Thursday’s report on those seeking unemployment benefits is likely to show that another 3 million Americans are out of work, adding to the already 30 million figure that has been racked up over the past two months. In corporate news, shares of Peloton
are likely to surge in Thursday regular trade after the exercise-equipment maker reported that quarterly sales hit $524.6 million, up 66% from the year before, thanks to a surge in sales for folks under stay-at-home policies. However, shares of Grubhub Inc.
fell more than 4% in the extended session Wednesday after the company missed earnings expectations and did not issue revenue guidance amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And Costco Wholesale Corp.
said late Wednesday that its April sales fell 1.8% as skyrocketing e-commerce sales didn’t make up for a drop in foot traffic at its stores. In Fed speakers, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker.

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