It’s a really slow day for corporate and economic news. AstraZeneca revised the efficacy rate from the recent clinical trial on its coronavirus vaccine down slightly to 76% from 79%, while new cases COVID continue to climb in North America and Europe reminding investors that the road to recovery may be bumpier than hoped and that setbacks remain possible. Investors also continue to mull over recent comments from central bankers about when emergency stimulus may be scaled back with the Bank of Canada having recently hinted at potentially sooner and Fed Chair Powell recently hinting at likely not for a while yet.
The weekly US jobless claims report has come in better than expected. Continuing claims have dropped below 4.0 million for the first time since this week a year ago, coming in at 3.87M, and beating the 4.03M street estimate. Initial claims also beat expectations (684K vs street 730K and previous 781K).
Commodities are under pressure again today with WTI crude oil dropping 3.1%, while copper, silver and platinum are all down about 2.2%. With retreating commodities easing fears of rising inflation, the US 10-year treasury note yield has dropped back toward 1.60%. Capital does still appear to be retrenching at the margins though, with Bitcoin falling 7.9% toward a retest of the $50,000 level.
US index futures are all down 0.4%-0.5% this morning, with Dow Futures turning downward from a flat Wednesday and NASDAQ futures adding to yesterday’s 2.0% decline. Over in Europe today, the FTSE and the DAX are both down 1.0%.