Inside the Market editor Darcy Keith will return on Monday with his comprehensive Before the Bell premarket report, available exclusively to Globe Unlimited readers. Click here to see the latest posts at Inside the Market and here to subscribe to Globe Unlimited.
U.S. stock index futures added to gains after data showed weekly initial jobless claims fell more than expected to a near six-year low and a final reading for second-quarter gross domestic product growth remained unchanged.
S&P 500 futures rose 4.5 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 34 points and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 16.75 points.
The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week to a near six-year low, a promising sign for the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 305,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
The U.S. government left its estimate for economic growth in the second quarter unchanged, but said prices for goods and services purchased by U.S. households fell for the first time in four years. The Commerce Department said gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 per cent annual rate in the April-June period. Also in the report, the department said its price index for consumer purchases, which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge of inflation, fell at a 0.1 per cent rate.
* The U.S. Congress, struggling to avert a government shutdown next week, was warned by the Obama administration on Wednesday that the Treasury was quickly running out of funds to pay government bills and could soon face a damaging debt default.
* Investor angst was heightened as lawmakers grappled with another potential crisis: Federal agency shutdowns that could begin with the new fiscal year next Tuesday, unless Congress comes up with emergency funds.
* Nike Inc. will report results after the closing bell. It will be the first earnings report for the retailer as a member of the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average.
* J.C. Penney fell 8 per cent in premarket trading. The struggling retailer is looking to raise as much as $1-billion in new equity to build its cash reserves as the holiday season approaches, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.
* Bed Bath and Beyond rose 5.9 per cent in light premarket trading a day after it reported a jump in second-quarter profit as the U.S. housing market recovery spurred demand for its products.
* Hertz Global shares dropped 8 per cent in premarket trading after the car rental company cut its full-year forecast.