U.S. Stock Futures Extend Grim Sell Off Following Downbeat Jobless Claims Data; Fed Statement, China Manufacturing Data Weigh

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U.S. stock futures continued their downward slide following a rise in weekly jobless claims to 354,000 - more than the expected increase to 340,000, according to a poll of economists by Market Watch. Despite being consistent with an improving labor market, this latest downbeat economic data added more pressure on an already gloomy market sentiment.

Markets have seen a grim sell off following the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting and Ben Bernanke's speech Wednesday afternoon, when the Fed indicated that it was optimistic about its outlook on the U.S. economy and signaled that it may reduce the government's bond buying program as early as this year.

In commodities, gold futures took a beating following the Fed's announcement, plunging below $1,300 an ounce - it's lowest in more than two years. Gold for August delivery is now down 5.15% at $1303.30 an ounce. Among other precious metals, copper for September delivery also weakened, down 1.76% at $3.10 per pound following downbeat data out of China, which showed that the Chinese manufacturing sector slowed down in June.

Crude futures tumbled lower as well, with crude for July delivery down 1.34% at $96.92 a barrel, on Fed worries and an increase in U.S. oil supply, according to Wednesday's inventories data. Crude was also weighed by the weak manufacturing data from China.

U.S. PRE-MARKET INDICATORS

-Dow Jones Industrial down 0.76%

-S&P 500 futures down 0.78%

-Nasdaq 100 futures down 1.01%

-Nasdaq-100 Pre-Market Indicator down 0.43%

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei down 1.74%

Hang Seng down 2.88%

Shanghai Composite down 2.76%

FTSE-100 down 2.13%

DAX-30 down 2.29%

PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH

(-) Large cap tech: lower

(-) Chip stocks: lower

(-) Software stocks: lower

(-) Hardware stocks: lower

(-) Internet stocks: lower

(-) Drug stocks: lower

(-) Financial stocks: lower

(-) Retail stocks: lower

(-) Industrial stocks: lower

(-) Airlines: lower

(-) Autos: lower

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) SLTM, (+11.66%) Says Fraxel Laser System Gets FDA Clearance

(+) FNSR, (+9.71%) Beats on Q4, Guides Mostly in Line to Above Street for Q1

(+) NTWK, (+7.51%) John Paulson Says Stock Could Hit $20 by 2015

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) EBIX, (-39.50%) Goldman Affiliate Cancels Merger

(-) FDX, (-2.38%) Buying Supaswift Businesses in Africa

(-) GSK, (-2.33%) Links with French Venture Firm to Target Rare Diseases, According to Reuters



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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