U.S. stock futures traded mostly lower in early pre-market trade on the last trading day of 2020. Markets closed higher in the previous session with AstraZeneca plc's AZN Covid-19 vaccine receiving the U.K. approval for emergency use. US stock markets will remain closed on Friday for the New Year's Day.
Data on initial jobless claims for the latest week will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Jobless claims are projected to increase to 830,000 for the December 26 week from 803,000 in the prior week.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 53 points to 30,249.00 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures traded fell 7.50 points to 3,716.75. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index rose 1.50 points to 12,843.00.
The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, with total infections in the country exceeding 19,744,730 with around 342,390 deaths. India reported a total of at least 10,266,670 confirmed cases, while Brazil confirmed over 7,619,200 cases.
Oil prices traded lower as Brent crude futures fell 0.2% to trade at $51.52 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures fell 0.3% to trade at $48.26 a barrel. US crude oil inventories dropped 6.1 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday. The EIA’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. ET.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were lower today. The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.8% and STOXX Europe 600 Index declined 0.3%. The French CAC 40 Index fell 0.4%, while London's FTSE 100 dropped 1.6%.
Asian markets traded mixed today. China’s Shanghai Composite surged 1.72%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.31% and India’s BSE Sensex slipped 0.1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.4%. China’s official NBS manufacturing PMI slipped to 51.9 in December versus 52.1 in the prior month, while non-manufacturing PMI also declined to 55.7 in December from 56.4.
- S&P Dow Jones Indices reported that Enphase Energy Inc. ENPH will replace Tiffany & Co TIF in the S&P 500 effective Thursday, January 7.
- Amazon.com Inc. AMZN announced Wednesday that it has reached an agreement to acquire podcast publisher Wondery.
- Ascendis Pharma A/S ASND reported the filing of an investigational new drug application with the FDA to initiate the TransCon TLR7/8 Agonist clinical program.
- Four Corners Property Trust Inc FCPT reported the acquisition of a Recreation Equipment, Inc. property from the Seritage transaction for $6.8 million. The company also announced the acquisition of a six property portfolio for $12.0 million.
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