FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures slipped on Thursday after a two-day rally as investors braced for what is expected to be one of the worst U.S. jobless claims reports in history, underlining the wide-ranging economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.
A Reuters poll predicts weekly jobless claims ranging from a minimum of 250,000 initial claims to up to 4 million. The poll shows a median forecast of 1 million claims, which would top highs logged during recessions in 1982 and 2009.
The Labor department is expected to release the data at 8:30 a.m. ET.
In an unusual appearance, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak on NBC television around 7:00 a.m. ET, which may provide more information about policymakers’ response to the outbreak.
At 05:24 a.m. EDT, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 282 points, or 1.33%, S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 42.25 points, or 1.71% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 114.25 points, or 1.53%.
SPDR S&P 500 ETFs (SPY.P) were down 1.69%.
The S&P 500 index .SPX closed up 1.15% at 2,475.56 on Wednesday.
Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty