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Stock futures trading mixed ahead of economic data and bank earnings


US equity futures are leaning towards a mixed trading session on Thursday.

The main forward indices suggest a 0.2% drop on the Dow Jones, but a 0.4% rise on the Nasdaq.

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The streak of financial firms reporting profits continues with results owed by Morgan Stanley, US Bancorp and Bank of New York Mellon.

Also monitor the results of Dow member and managed care giant UnitedHealth Group.

A plate full of economic data is coming.

The Labor Department released its tally of new jobless claims for the past week. Expectations are 360,000. This represents a drop from 373,000 the previous week and would mark a new pandemic low.

At the same time, watch for a key regional manufacturing report when the New York Federal Reserve releases its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for July. Refinitiv’s estimate is 18.0, up from a weaker-than-expected reading of 17.4 in June.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve has released its own manufacturing activity index for eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

Further reports due will measure import and export prices and industrial production.

In Europe, the London FTSE was little changed, the German DAX gained 0.8% and the French CAC gained 0.5%.

CHINA’S ECONOMIC GROWTH IS SLOWING TO BE STILL SOLID AT 7.9%

China announced that its economy grew at an annual rate of 7.9% in the last quarter, up from 18.3% in January-March in a stabilization of its relatively early recovery from the pandemic.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark slipped 1.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.8%, while China’s Shanghai Composite rose nearly 1.0%.

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Me: DJI MEDIUM DOW JONES 34933.23 +44.44 + 0.13%
SP500 S&P 500 4374.3 +5.09 + 0.12%
I: COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14644.952258 -32.70 -0.22%

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 posted a gain of 0.1%, to 4,374.30, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1% to 34,993.23 and the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.2%, to 14,644.95.

Investors have had a mixed reaction to a new batch of news on profits from banks, airlines and other companies, as well as the latest report showing a further rise in inflation. They also kept an eye out for the latest inflation comments from the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, who reaffirmed the Fed’s view that the spike in costs in the economy is temporary.

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Most banks fell, even after several of them issued strong earnings reports. Citigroup gave up early gain and fell 0.3%, despite announcing more than fivefold increase in profits, aided by an improving economy that resulted in fewer bad debts on the balance sheet form the bank. Wells Fargo rose 4% for the S&P 500’s biggest gain after reporting its most profitable quarter in two years.

Bank of America’s mixed results disappointed investors. It fell 2.5% after posting strong profits but weak income.

Airlines have shown more signs of recovery as people begin to resume their travel for work and leisure. American Airlines rose 3% after giving investors an encouraging update on its second quarter financial position.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggested in testimony to a House committee that inflation would likely remain high, but ultimately subdued, reinforcing the central bank’s position that rising inflation is a temporary impact of economic recovery.

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In energy trading, benchmark US crude fell 79 cents to $ 72.34 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell from $ 2.12 to $ 73.13 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 56 cents to $ 74.20 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.