US STOCKS-Futures slip with focus on jobless claims as Fed underwhelms

17 Sep 2020 / 18:51 H.

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    * Futures off: Dow 0.85%, S&P 1.01%, Nasdaq 0.99%

    By Sagarika Jaisinghani

    Sept 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures fell on Thursday as investors braced for data likely to show persistently high levels of weekly jobless claims, adding to concerns about an economic rebound a day after the Federal Reserve issued an underwhelming stimulus plan.

    The Labor Department's weekly report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show about 850,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ended Sept. 12, a touch lower than 884,000 in the previous week, but still suggesting the labor market's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic was stalling.

    In a news conference on Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell also indicated a long road to "maximum employment" and said the central bank was limited in its capacity to address some of the gaps around wage growth and workforce participation.

    The S&P 500 sold off after his remarks, with the technology sector, which had been recovering from a rout earlier in September, tumbling 1.6%. A broader slump in tech-related stocks halted a five-month rally in the benchmark index this month and pushed the Nasdaq into correction.

    At 6:37 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 239 points, or 0.85%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 34.25 points, or 1.01%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 111.5 points, or 0.99%.

    The big U.S. banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc and Wells Fargo & Co fell about 1% in thin premarket trading.

    Carnival Corp dropped 3.8% after its British cruiseline P&O Cruises extended a cancellation in sailings until early 2021. Other cruise operators such as Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd shed about 2%.

    German biotech firm BioNTech SE rose 3.1% as it said it was buying a production site from Swiss drugs giant Novartis to boost output of its potential coronavirus vaccine by several million doses. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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