U.S. stock futures were mixed Thursday morning, one day after a tech-led bounce clawed back some of the carnage of the previous three sessions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained nearly 440 points, or 1.6%, on Wednesday, but remained nearly 5.5.% away from February's record highs.
The S&P 500 jumped 2%, but still 5% below last week's record highs. The Nasdaq soared 2.7%, though it remained over 7% below last week's record highs. All three benchmarks finished off their highs after quick dips right before Wednesday's close.
Shares of Apple, a Dow stock and a major force in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, were steady in the premarket after jumping almost 4% on Wednesday. However, Apple was still off about 14% from last week's record highs.
2. New weekly jobless claims under 1 million again
The government said Thursday morning there were 884,000 new filings for unemployment benefits for the week ending Sept. 5, higher than estimates of 850,000 and equal to the revised initial jobless claims number in the prior week, which ushered in a change in methodology from the Labor Department to address seasonal factors. Unique circumstances associated with the coronavirus likely caused claims totals to be overstated during the pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is "optimistic" that Republicans would deliver strong support for the GOP's $500 billion slimmed-down Covid-19 rescue package in Thursday's procedural vote. Democrats said the GOP bill is far too small and leaves out important priorities, including funding for state and local governments and more generous jobless benefits. Both sides have been in a stalemate over how to craft further pandemic stimulus.
3. Woodward's book reveals Trump downplayed coronavirus threat
President Donald Trump said he wanted to publicly downplay the threat of the coronavirus even as his advisors warned him about the dangers of the disease, according to Bob Woodward's forthcoming second book on the Trump presidency, "Rage." CNN published audio of the journalist's March 19 interview with the president for the book. Trump is heard saying, "I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don't want to create a panic."
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden blasted Trump after the Woodward revelations. "It's beyond despicable. It's a dereliction of duty. It's a disgrace," the former vice president said Wednesday at a campaign event in Michigan. Trump, who plans to visit swing state Michigan on Thursday, addressed the book Wednesday at a White House event, saying, "You cannot show a sense of panic or you're going to have bigger problems than you ever had before."
4. Empty rental apartments in Manhattan surge during pandemic
The number of empty rental apartments in Manhattan nearly tripled compared with last year, as more New Yorkers fled the city during the pandemic. There were more than 15,000 empty rental apartments in Manhattan in August, according to a report from property company Douglas Elliman and real estate consultancy Miller Samuel. However, median rental prices only fell 4% in August, not enough to to lure new renters back to the city. The average rental price for a two-bedroom in Manhattan is still $4,756 a month.
5. Kansas City Chiefs open NFL's socially distanced season
The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will open the NFL's season against the Houston Texans on Thursday before a crowd of just 17,000 socially distanced hometown fans. That's about 22% of Arrowhead Stadium's capacity due to coronavirus safety precautions. Another change, ushered in by the nationwide push for racial justice following the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, headdresses and face paint are being banned. NFL teams with Native American names are facing increased scrutiny after the Washington Football Team dropped the Redskins moniker.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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