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US pre-open: Futures point to losses as Trump moves to ban Chinese apps

Fri, 7th Aug 2020 11:04

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures were pointing to losses ahead of the bell as investors awaited the July non-farm payrolls report and an executive order against Chinese applications weighed on sentiment.
As of 1230 BST, Dow Jones futures were down 0.41%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.40% and 0.39% weaker, respectively.

The Dow closed 185.46 points higher on Thursday after this week's initial jobless claims report revealed a surprise decline and a tech rally late in the session gave indices a boost.

Futures were trading lower before the open after Donald Trump issued executive orders to address "the threat posed" by Chinese mobile apps TikTok and WeChat. As part of the order, the White House will now block any transaction made via ByteDance and Tencent, the parent companies of TikTok and WeChat.

Investors were also patiently awaiting the government's non-farm payrolls report, due out at 1330 BST.

Economists expect the report to show the labour market's rebound to have slowed last month amid a spike in new Covid-19 cases across the US, with forecasts for a reading of 1.48m new jobs being added in July - down sharply from the 4.8m new payrolls in June.

CMC Markets' Michael Hewson said: "While the consensus is for 1.5m jobs to be added the numbers could easily swing up to 5.0m in either direction, not to mention the likelihood of a big revision to the June numbers from the current 4.8m.

"The employment picture is also likely to become much more uncertain as we head into the autumn and the US Presidential election, as US companies exercise caution ahead of what is likely to be a politically divisive campaign, as well as the prospect of a second wave of coronavirus infections as the weather gets colder."

Also in focus were talks on Capitol Hill as lawmakers have continued to struggle to agree on a new stimulus package after the $600 per week enhanced federal unemployment benefit expired at the end of last month.

The White House has threatened to withdraw from discussion and address jobless benefits and the eviction moratorium by way of an executive action if neither party reach an agreement by the end of the day.

On the macro front, besides the payroll data, wholesale inventory figures will be published at 1500 BST, while consumer credit data will be released at 2000 BST.

In corporate news, Dish Network shares were higher in pre-market trading despite revealing it had lost 96,000 subscribers amid the Covid-19 pandemic, while Goldman Sachs restated full-year earnings estimates after agreeing to a settlement with the Malaysian government for its role in the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB corruption scandal.

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