(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday as investors cautiously awaited the weekly jobless claims report, a day after the Federal Reserve signaled an arduous recovery for the world’s largest economy.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq retreated from their peaks on Wednesday after minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting showed the labor market’s swift rebound in May and June had likely slowed and policymakers would stick with aggressive stimulus measures for a much longer period.
Data from the Labor Department, due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), is expected to show the number of Americans seeking jobless benefits dipped to 925,000 in the week ended Aug. 15.
Despite signs that parts of the economy were still far away from pre-pandemic levels, the benchmark S&P 500 index completed its fastest recovery from a bear market this week, joining the Nasdaq in scaling new peaks.
Unprecedented fiscal and monetary support and gains in heavyweight technology companies have helped Wall Street’s main indexes dramatically recover from their March trough. Still, the Dow is more than 6% below its February high.
Among early movers, Nvidia Corp (O:NVDA) slipped 1.1% in premarket trade after results from the data center business of the rising semiconductor industry star disappointed some investors.
Intel Corp (O:INTC) rose 3.9% after announcing a $10-billion share buyback plan.
L Brands Inc (N:LB) rose 1.3% after reporting a surprise quarterly profit, boosted by strong demand for Bath & Body Works’ products as well as higher online sales of Victoria’s Secret lingerie.