September 24, 2021

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Stock futures search for direction following record day

U.S. equity futures are trading mixed ahead of the Thursday session on Wall Street.

The major futures indexes suggest a gain of 0.1% for the Dow ahead of the release of jobless claims data and another measure of inflation.

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The Labor Department will release its count of new claims for unemployment benefits for last week. Expectations are for 375,000. That’s down slightly from 385,000 the prior week. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, are anticipated to drop by 50,000 to 2.88 million, which would mark a new pandemic low.

At the same time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report wholesale inflation data for July. Headline producer prices are expected to increase 0.6% month-over-month according to Refinitiv forecasts, trailing June’s 1% rise. 

Year-over-year, prices paid by wholesalers are anticipated to jump 7.3%, same as June’s increase which marked a series high.

BIDEN SEES INFLATION EASING, DESPITE PRICES STILL ON THE RISE

Factoring out volatile food and energy costs, core producer prices are anticipated to pop 0.5% in July, half of June’s 1% increase which was the biggest monthly rise in more than a decade. Year-over-year look for a gain of 5.6% in July.

Investors will be watching for earnings results from the Walt Disney Company.

In Europe, London’s FTSE added 0.4%, Germany’s DAX gained 0.1% and France’s CAC rose 0.3%.

In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged down 0.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.5% and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.2%.

Worries in the region remained about the recent regulatory crackdown in China. Analysts said the next target appeared to be the online insurance industry.

On Wall Street on Wednesday, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average reached past the record highs they set a day earlier. 

After a stumbling start to the week, stocks have been moving higher on the back of strong earnings and better-than-expected economic data.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35499.85 +14.88 +0.04%
SP500 S&P 500 4460.83 +13.13 +0.30%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14816.261951 +51.13 +0.35%

Traders got a dose of decent economic news Wednesday when the Labor Department said that consumer prices rose 0.5% from June to July, down from the previous monthly increase of 0.9%. Year over year, consumer prices have increased a substantial 5.4%.

The S&P 500 index rose 10.95 points to 4,447.70. The Dow gained 220.30 points, or 0.6%, to 35,484.97. Both indexes also set all-time highs on Friday and Tuesday.

Weakness in some technology stocks helped pull the Nasdaq composite slightly lower. It fell 22.95 points, or 0.2%, to 14,765.14.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WW WW INTERNATIONAL 23.93 -0.43 -1.77%
WEN THE WENDY’S CO. 23.50 +0.65 +2.84%

Weight-loss program operator WW International plunged 24.6% after reporting disappointing second-quarter financial results, while hamburger chain Wendy’s rose 3.7% after raising its profit forecast for the year and increasing its dividend.

NYSE REQUIRES COVID VACCINATIONS TO ACCESS TRADING FLOOR

Meanwhile, the New York Stock Exchange will begin requiring on Sept. 13 that anyone entering its trading floor show proof that they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to an email obtained by The Associated Press.

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In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude was flat at $69.25 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 10 cents to $71.54 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.