Stock Futures retreat as trade tensions add to pandemic woes

May 21, 2020

New York (May 21)  U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday as growing trade tensions with China added to worries about the pace of a recovery from a coronavirus-fueled economic slump even with several countries easing lockdowns.

Simmering tensions between the world’s two biggest economies over the origin of the novel coronavirus have slowed a Wall Street rally this month, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have still inched up to hit multi-month highs amid some optimism over economic recovery.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took fresh aim at Beijing, calling the $2 billion it has pledged to fight the pandemic as “paltry”.

Investors are also awaiting the latest weekly jobless claims data, which is due at 8:30 a.m. ET and is expected to show millions more Americans filing for unemployment benefits due to layoffs and mass furloughs as a result of the lockdown.

Still, claims have gradually declined since hitting a record 6.867 million in the week ended March 28 and Thursday’s report could offer early clues on how quickly businesses re-hire as they reopen.

At 06:25 a.m. EDT, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 152 points, or 0.62%, S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 19 points, or 0.64%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 55.75 points, or 0.59%.

SPDR S&P 500 ETFs (SPY.P) were down 0.56%.

The S&P 500 index .SPX closed up 1.67% at 2,971.61​ on Wednesday.


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