August 5, 2021
(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday ahead of data expected to show fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits, while investors looked to another busy day of corporate earnings reports.
The Labor Department’s report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, is likely to show initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell to 384,000 last week, from 400,000 in the previous week.
The benchmark S&P 500 index closed just below a record high on Wednesday. It has struggled to rise in August after six straight months of gains on concerns about the pace of economic growth and as fears of higher inflation overshadowed a stellar corporate earnings season.
World stocks also eased from all-time highs after Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida, a major architect of the Fed’s new policy strategy, said on Wednesday he felt the conditions for raising interest rates could be met by the end of 2022.
Earnings reports continued to pour in, with shares in Electronic Arts Inc rising 3.6% after it forecast current-quarter adjusted sales above estimates. Rivals Take-Two and Activision Blizzard rose about 1% each.
Uber Technologies Inc fell 4.1% after the ride-hailing and food delivery company reported widening losses.
At 6:49 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 61 points, or 0.18%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 10.25 points, or 0.23%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 36.25 points, or 0.24%.
Of the 340 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far, a record 87.6% have beat profit estimates, as per Refinitiv IBES data.
Overall, analysts expect second-quarter profit at S&P 500 companies to jump 90.2% versus a year ago.
(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)