North American stock futures dipped in advance of trading on Thursday, as investors awaited weekly U.S. jobless claims data and analyzed the latest moves in the European debt drama.
The number of people in the U.S. filing for jobless benefits for the first time is expected to decline for another week as the world’s largest economy continues to show slow but steady signs of growth.
Overseas, meanwhile, Greece began to feel some of the harsh repercussions of its failure to establish a new government. The European Central Bank said it will temporarily cease lending to some Greek banks to reduce its own risk. The responsibility for supporting these lending institutions will now fall to Greece’s central bank, adding further uncertainty and volatility to the country’s financial state.
China’s Hang Seng index down 0.3 per cent
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index up 0.9 per cent
London’s FTSE 100 index down 1.3 per cent
France’s CAC 40 down 1 per cent
Germany’s DAX index down 0.9 per cent
Spain’s IBEX 35 index down 1.9 per cent
Oil up 11 cents (U.S.) to $92.92 a barrel (June delivery)
Gold up 0.6 per cent to $1,547.86 an ounce
Copper up 0.6 per cent to $3.50 a pound (July delivery)
Canadian dollar down 0.3 per cent to 98.49 U.S. cents
8:30 a.m. Initial jobless claims for the week of May 5. Consensus is for 365,000 claims, compared with prior week’s 367,000.
Update: The U.S. Labour Department said initial claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged at 370,000 after it revised the previous week's data up to 370,000 from the previously reported 367,000. The latest figure was slightly above economists' consensus estimate of 365,000. The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a more accurate read of the employment market, declined by 4,750, to 375,000.
10:00 a.m. Philadelphia Fed’s Business Outlook Survey for May is expected to rise to a score of 10, up from 8.5 in April.
10:00 The U.S. Conference Board’s index of leading indicators is forecasted to have risen 0.1 per cent in April, compared with an increase of 0.3 per cent in March.
Stocks to watch:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was up in premarket trading after posting better-than-expected revenue and profit figures for the first-quarter this morning.
Other retailers reporting on Thursday include The Gap Inc., Dollar Tree Inc. and Sears Holding Corp. Applied Materials Inc.’s results should give a closer read on the state of the semiconductor sector and Salesforce.com will offer the latest look on business IT spending. In Canada, Silver Metals Inc. posts financials after the market closes.