Here are the top news, trends, and analysis investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stock futures slightly positive as Wall Street waits for job dates
Traders work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Stock futures were slightly higher on Thursday as Wall Street looks at key employment reports that provide insight into the US economic rally. Dow futures implied an opening gain of around 90 points, while futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also in the green. The futures performance follows a relatively sluggish session on Wednesday, with the Dow of 30 stocks closing 48.20 points, or 0.1%, lower and the broad S&P 500 up just 0.03%. However, the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.3% to another record high. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have risen in three of the last four sessions, while the Dow has fallen in the last three days. The 10-year government bond yield fell about 1 basis point to 1.29% on Thursday.
2. Initial jobless claims are falling to their lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic
A job seeker fills out an application form during a restaurant and hospitality career fair in Torrance, California on June 23, 2021.
Eric Thayer / Bloomberg via Getty Images
Initial jobless claims for the week ended Saturday stood at 340,000, the lowest since the early days of the Covid pandemic, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones had forecast initial losses of 345,000. In the previous week, 353,000 initial unemployment insurance applications were made. The weekly unemployment claims data precedes the main August non-farm payroll report on Friday. Consensus projections assume that the US economy has created 720,000 jobs this month, according to the Dow Jones, and the overall unemployment rate will fall from 5.4% to 5.2%.
3. Apple plans to adjust the payment policies for certain apps
Apple allows some apps to provide a link to their websites where users can then register directly for a paid subscription. The change, which the iPhone manufacturer announced on Wednesday, comes because Apple is exposed to intense criticism and regulatory scrutiny because of its payment guidelines in the App Store. The change is due to come into effect next year and applies to so-called reader apps such as Netflix and Spotify. Prior to this optimization, app makers had to leverage Apple’s own billing service, which cuts in-store purchases by 15% to 30% rather than allowing users to log into the developers’ websites. In-app purchases for games must still be made through the App Store.
4. The divided Supreme Court refuses to block the Texas abortion law
A worker clears the front steps as morning rises over the U.S. Supreme Court building, which is closed to the public during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Washington on April 26, 2021.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
In a 5-4 ruling late Wednesday, the Supreme Court rejected implementation of a Texas law banning most abortions in the nation’s second most populous state. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the three Supreme Court liberals – Judges Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – in other respects. The majority order was “staggering,” wrote Sotomayor. She argued that Texas law, which bans abortion after six weeks of gestation, when many women have not yet found out they are pregnant, “disregards nearly 50 years of federal precedents.”
The court’s decision came in response to an emergency motion filed earlier this week by abortion providers and lawyers trying to prevent the law from going into effect after midnight on Wednesday. However, the judges suggested that other legal challenges may be brought against Texas law, meaning Wednesday’s order allowing its implementation may not be the final say on its constitutionality.
5. Ida beats up New York, New Jersey, leaving at least 8 dead
A worker clears drains on a flood-hit street in Brooklyn, New York, early September 2, 2021 as flash floods and record-breaking rainfall from the remains of Storm Ida swept the area.
Ed Jones | AFP | Getty Images
A state of emergency was enacted in New York and New Jersey after the remains of Hurricane Ida hit them and at least eight people died. Torrential rain inundated streets and homes in the area Wednesday night, and many New York City subway lines ceased operations when the water flooded the transportation system. Record-breaking rainfall has been recorded in Central Park, according to the National Weather Service. At least one tornado was recorded in New Jersey that destroyed several homes. In Louisiana, where Ida landed on Sunday, around 900,000 utility customers remained without power on Thursday morning, according to the state commission for public services. President Joe Biden plans to visit the state on Friday to see the damage from the storm.
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