US stocks are set to open markets higher ahead of the US weekly initial jobless claims data. Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) were positive, albeit were almost flat. S&P 500 futures, as well as Nasdaq 100 futures, edged slightly higher.  

US Economic Outlook

The Dow Jones index closed its trading session 323 points lower on Wednesday. The decline followed the disappointing US ADP Nonfarm Employment Change for July. The private sector employment increased by 330,000 from June to July. The outcome was weaker than the 695,000 estimated forecast.

The US ISM Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for July came in higher than expected. According to the data published yesterday, the services PMI came in higher at 64.1, signaling an expansion in the economy. It jumped from the previous 60.1 in June and surpassed the 60.1 estimated forecast.

US Treasury bond yields edged slightly higher on Thursday ahead of the weekly initial jobless claims data in the United States. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was up at 1.192%. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond advanced to 1.845%.

Oil prices were almost at a standstill amid tensions in the Middle East. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was below the $70.00 level and was trading at $68.35 per barrel. Brent crude oil was trading at $70.46 per barrel.

The US weekly initial jobless claims data is scheduled for release later in the day. According to economists polled by Dow Jones, the jobless claims are expected to decrease to 384,000, down from the previous 400,000.

Dow Jones Movers

Walmart Inc was the best performer in the Dow Jones premarket trade. The retail company gained more than 1.51% in its stock earnings. Walmart’s Executive Vice President, Chandra Holt, will be leaving the company to become chief executive officer of another company.

McDonald’s was also among the top performers. On Monday this week, the fast-food company announced the mandatory wearing of masks b its customers and staff. The resurgence of Covid-19 infections due to the Delta variant has pushed many companies to impose strict restrictions.

JPMorgan Chase gained more than 0.5% in its stock price. According to CoinDesk, the investment banking company is pitching a Bitcoin fund to its wealthy clients.

Among the laggards in the index include Nike Inc and American Express. Nike Inc topped the list and is likely to extend its losing streak.

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