Stock futures were slipping Thursday as the markets digested a spate of global economic reports. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were falling 45 points, or 52.82 points below fair value, at 12,822.
Futures for the S&P 500 were down 3 points, or 3.62 points below fair value, at 1365. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 were down 8.5 points, or 7.29 points below fair value, at 2633.
The European Central Bank reduced interest rates to a record low as it tries to prevent the eurozone economy from worsening. ECB President Mario Draghi said in a press conference after the release that risks to the continent’s economic outlook are still to the downside.
The ECB’s main refinancing rate will be cut by 25 basis points to 0.75%.
The interest rate on the marginal lending facility will be decreased by 25 basis points to 1.5% and the interest rate on the deposit facility will be decreased by 25 basis points to 0%.
Meanwhile, the Bank of England, in an effort to boost the United Kingdom’s sagging economy, announced it is raising its asset purchase target to 375 billion pounds, while maintaining its benchmark interest rate at 0.5%, and implying that more stimulus measures are possible in the future.
While it’s been widely expected that China would cut interest rates again, the timing of the latest reduction was a surprise to the markets. The country’s central bank reduced its one-year deposit rate 0.25 percentage points and one-year lending rate 0.31 percentage points.
The People’s Bank of China is allowing banks to lend 30% below the lending rate floor.
Ahead of Friday’s big nonfarm payrolls report, Automatic Data Processing reported that employment in the U.S. nonfarm private business sector increased by 176,000 in June from May on a seasonally adjusted basis, better than the addition of 105,000 jobs to the U.S. economy that economists were expecting. The estimated gain in May from April was revised up slightly to 136,000 from 133,000 initially.
Employment in the private, service-providing sector rose 160,000 in June, according to ADP.
Meantime, the Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims for the week ended June 30 fell 14,000 to 374,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised figure of 388,000. Economists, on average, expected a fall to 385,000.
The four-week moving average was 385,750, a decrease of 1,500 from the previous week’s average of 387,250.
Continuing claims for the week ended June 23 was 3.306 million, an increase of 4,000 from the preceding week’s level of 3.302 million.
The Institute for Supply Management posts its June non-manufacturing index at 10 a.m., and the reading is expected to come in at 53 compared with 53.7 in May.
The FTSE in London was rising 0.31% and the DAX in Germany was up 0.17%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Stock index finished up 0.5%. The Nikkei in Japan closed lower by 0.27%.
The major U.S. equity indices finished Tuesday’s holiday-shortened session with solid gains after data on factory orders in May came in slightly better than expected and June vehicle sales were strong.
August crude oil futures were up 50 cents to $88.16 a barrel. August gold futures were slipping $3.50 to $1,618.30 an ounce.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 8/32, diluting the yield to 1.593%, while the dollar was rising 0.58%, according to the dollar index.