Equity futures are rising as investors weigh data on unemployment claims

US stock futures pushed up pre-market trading on Thursday as investors weighed minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting and recent employment data from Washington.

Futures related to the S&P 500 rose 0.3%, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures increased by 150 points, or about 0.5%. Contracts for the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4%.

The first unemployment demands increased unexpectedly last week, as a potential sign that the labor market could cool down under tighter economic conditions. First-time applications for unemployment insurance in the United States were 235,000 for the week ending July 2, an increase of 4,000 from last week̵[ads1]7;s reading of 231,000 claims, the Department of Labor said Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the latest survey to reach 230,000.

The transcript comes ahead of the government’s monthly employment report for June, which comes on Friday.

Elsewhere in the market, the Bed Bath & Beyond share (BBBY) appeared after the news that the interim CEO bought shares and the GameStop share (GME) was up more than 6% ahead of the opening after the video game retailer and meme-stock darling announced late Wednesday that the board approved a four-to-one share split in the form of dividends.

Tesla (TSLA), Amazon (AMZN) and Shopify (SHOP) also recently announced share splits, which increase the number of shares in a company to give more investors access to purchases without changing the market value.

Crude oil rose, but continued to hover just under $ 100 a barrel after falling below this threshold for the first time since mid-May on Tuesday. The benchmark index for the 10-year return on the Treasury held at 2.9% after falling from the last decade’s high of over 3.4% in mid-June.

Thursday’s gains in futures trading follow three days in a row for the S&P 500 index. In the previous session, the benchmark index closed up 0.4% – along with small increases for the Dow and Nasdaq – after a reading of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting on 14-15. June confirmed that the US Federal Reserve was obliged to intervene as needed to slow down. inflation.

“The participants agreed that the economic outlook justified the transition to a restrictive policy, and they recognized the possibility that an even more restrictive stance could be appropriate if increased inflationary pressures persisted,” the minutes of the meeting stated.

Officials also discussed concerns that inflation is gaining ground in the US economy and that price stability is becoming increasingly difficult to restore.

Equity futures are rising as investors weigh data on unemployment claims

American flags hang from the NYSE during the Independence Day weekend of July 3, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski / Getty Images)

“Many participants felt that a significant risk the committee now faced was that rising inflation could take hold if the public began to question the committee’s determination to adjust its attitude to policy as necessary,” the minutes said.

At the same time, there is still concern that a further rise in interest rates to tame inflation could push the economy into recession, especially as important economic data including consumer sentiment and consumption, together with recent purchasing managers’ indices, have shown signs of softening in recent printouts. The Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow model now estimates real GDP growth in the second quarter of 2022 at -2.1%, which will meet the unofficial threshold for a recession when matched by the 1.6% decline in Q1. The official reading on the second quarter’s GDP is currently 28 July.

The Federal Reserve is “nervous that they could raise interest rates too quickly and start a recession,” Professor Austan Goolsbee of the Booth School of Business Economics at the University of Chicago told Yahoo Finance Live on Wednesday. “It’s the tough balancing act the Fed has gotten tougher from the fact that this business cycle does not look like a normal business cycle.”

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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