Investing.com – U.S. stocks are set to open mixed Thursday after Wednesday’s sharp losses, with investors showing caution amid signs that cases of the COVID-19 pandemic are accelerating, hampering efforts to reopen the country’s economy.
Wall Street closed sharply lower Wednesday, amid worries that rising Covid-19 infections could slow the reopening of businesses in many states, hitting the pace of the country’s economic recovery.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.7%, or 710 points, the S&P 500 slipped 2.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 2.2%, snapping an eight-day winning streak. This was the worst day for Wall Street in two weeks.
More than half of all U.S. states are reporting rises in new coronavirus cases, and the country as a whole recorded Wednesday a one-day total of nearly 35,000 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, the highest level since late April.
This has prompted the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where the rate of infections has slowed after being particularly hard hit, to require visitors from states with increasing numbers of infections to self-isolate for 14 days.
With this in mind, attention will turn to the release of the weekly employment data. Initial jobless claims for the week ending June 21 are expected to be 1.3 million, while continuing jobless claims are expected to be 19.9 million. weekly unemployment numbers. Recent progress has been good, but unemployment is still at post World War II highs.
In corporate news, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) will be in the spotlight after delaying the re-opening of theme parks and resorts in California because of the increase in Covid-19 cases. The Wall Street Journal also reported that the entertainment giant is considering holding back the release of its “Mulan” movie.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) would also be in focus after saying it would shut seven stories in the Houston area following a sharp rise in cases, after last week reclosing some locations in Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Meanwhile, sports apparel maker Nike (NYSE:NKE) is set to report fourth-quarter earnings after the closing bell, and analysts are expecting earnings of 12 cents a share on revenue of $7.4 billion.
Oil weakened Thursday, extending the previous session’s substantial losses as record high U.S. crude inventories revived fears of a supply glut amid concerns about a hit to fuel demand from a resurgence in Covid-19 cases.
At 7:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.2% lower at $37.55 a barrel. The international benchmark Brent contract fell 0.7% to $40.01.