June 18, 2020 / 10:54 AM / 23 days ago

US STOCKS-Futures drift lower ahead of jobless claims data

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* Futures: Dow down 0.12%, S&P off 0.11%, Nasdaq up 0.06%

By Medha Singh and Devik Jain

June 18 (Reuters) - Futures tracking the S&P 500 and Dow indexes edged lower on Thursday as caution over an uptick in COVID-19 infections in parts of the United States and China weighed on the mood ahead of a weekly jobless claims report.

A resurgence in coronavirus cases has upended bets of a swift post-pandemic economic recovery, with the S&P 500 and the Dow snapping a three-day winning streak on Wednesday.

Several U.S. states including Texas, Florida and Oklahoma have reported a surge in new infections, however, Trump said late on Wednesday that the United States would not close businesses again.

The chief epidemiologist of China’s Center for Diseases Prevention and Control said on Thursday Beijing’s latest coronavirus outbreak had been brought under control.

After recent data showed a record rise in U.S. retail sales and a surprise addition in jobs in May, investors will now look to the Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims report, the most timely indicator of economic health.

The number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits is likely to fall for the eleventh straight week, but still remain elevated following mass furloughs and layoffs during the nationwide lockdowns.

At 6:17 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 31 points, or 0.12%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 3.5 points, or 0.11% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 5.75 points, or 0.06%.

Carnival Corp fell 3.6% in premarket trading after reporting a quarterly net loss of $4.4 billion and projecting a loss for the rest of the year after the pandemic brought its cruise business to an effective standstill.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd dropped 2.2% and 3.2%, respectively. (Reporting by Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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