Thursday August 3rd


Wall Street set to open flat after Dow breaks 22,000; jobless claims in focus

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open on Thursday, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average broke the 22,000 milestone for the first time ever. Dow futures were unchanged, while S&P and Nasdaq futures traded 0.75 points lower and 8.5 points higher, respectively. The 30-stock index was propelled above 22,000 largely by Apple, which had reported strong quarterly results. Investors will once again focus on earnings after Tesla posted better-than-expected results. The stock shot up 6 percent on the news. Allergan and Kellogg are among the companies that reported before the bell. Heinz, Motorola Solutions, Viacom and Western Union will report after the bell. In terms of data, jobless claims came in at 240,000, just below the expected 242,000. Other data set for release Thursday include the IHS Markit PMI Services Index, factory orders and Fed Balance Sheet figures. In oil markets, Brent was trading slightly higher at $52.57 and WTI at $49.80. Data out on Wednesday showed U.S. crude, gasoline and diesel inventories down in the last week as demand for gasoline hit a new high. Asian indexes closed lower on Thursday after the Dow closed above the 22,000 level and as the dollar staged a slight recovery. Japan's Nikkei 225 edged down 0.25 percent, or 50.78 points, to close at 20,029.26. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged down 0.28 percent by 3:39 p.m. HK/SIN while mainland markets finished lower. The Shanghai Composite slid 0.35 percent, or 11.6480 points, to end at 3,273.4088 and the Shenzhen Composite closed just 0.006 percent below the flat line at 1,869.2124. Gold fell on Thursday after nearing a seven-week high in the previous session as investors squared positions ahead of U.S. jobs data which should give further clues on the outlook for interest rate rises. Gold has rallied through most of July as the dollar fell on reduced expectations for a U.S. rate increase this year. Spot gold fell 0.06 percent to $1,265.45 per ounce after touching $1,258.20 earlier in the session, its lowest in almost a week. U.S. gold futures for December delivery fell 0.56 percent to $1,271.3 per ounce.