Dow Today – Futures flat after jobless claims data; drugmakers extend fall
U.S. stocks were set for a subdued open on Thursdayafter data showed weekly jobless claims fell more than expected, while vaccine makers came under pressure after President Joe Biden‘s plan to back intellectual property waivers on COVID-19 shots.
Shares in Pfizer Inc (PFE.N), Moderna Inc (MRNA.O), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) and Novavax Inc (NVAX.O), all involved in the making of COVID-19 vaccines, fell between 0.8% and 9.2% in premarket trading. read more
The declines were triggered after Biden said he had backed a World Trade Organization waiver for vaccine intellectual property to enhance the fight against the pandemic. read more
“It could clearly reduce potential revenues some of these firms were expecting to generate from licensing their patents,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) ended at a record high in the previous session, supported by a rise in economically sensitive cyclical stocks, while the Nasdaq was hit by declines in growth stocks.
A Labor Department report showed fewer Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week as the labor market recovery gains steam amid an economic boom. read more
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 498,000 for the week ended May 1 compared to 590,000 in the prior week.
Investors are awaiting the more comprehensive non-farm payrolls data on Friday to get clues on strength of the labor market and potentially the U.S. Federal Reserve’s stance on monetary policy.
“The Fed is looking at more jobs created before they think there will be an issue and we are very far away from that,” said Arthur Weise, chief investment officer at Kingsland Growth Advisors in New York.
At 8:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 41 points, or 0.12%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 1 point, or 0.02%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 3 points, or 0.02%.
Among other stocks, ViacomCBS Inc rose 4.1% after reporting quarterly revenue that beat Wall Street estimates. read more
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (REGN.O)
edged 0.4% higher after the drugmaker reported a 78% rise in first-quarter profit, helped by a robust recovery in demand for its eye drug Eylea. read more
Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) fell 3.6% as it signaled it would pay drivers more to get cars back on the road and disclosed a $600 million charge to provide UK drivers with benefits. read more
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