(Reuters) – Futures tracking the S&P 500 and Dow indexes edged lower on Thursday ahead of the closely watched weekly jobless claims report, with investors weighing the risk of another business shutdown amid soaring U.S. COVID-19 cases.
A batch of upbeat economic data including the record pace of job additions in June has underscored that the stimulus-fueled domestic economy was on the path to recovery.
The benchmark S&P 500 has risen more than 40% from its March lows and is now about 7% below its February record high.
The Labor Department’s most timely data on the economy is expected to show 1.38 million Americans filed for state unemployment benefits in the latest week, down from 1.43 million claims in the prior week. The report is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET.
The United States reported more than 60,000 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, setting a single day global record.
While the recent surge has forced some states to roll back their reopening plans, market experts expect only a delay in U.S. economic recovery, with many seeing growth returning in 2021.
The three main indexes charged ahead in the final hour of trading on Wednesday, with Nasdaq logging its fourth record closing high this month powered by technology stocks.