(RTTNews) - After pointing to a lower open earlier this morning, stock futures have shown a notable rebound following the release of the weekly jobless claims data. The major index futures are currently pointing to a slightly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 35 points.
The turnaround by the futures came after the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits pulled back by much more than expected in the week ended August 1st.
The report said initial jobless claims tumbled to 1.186 million, a decrease of 249,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1.435 million.
Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 1.415 million from the 1.434 million originally reported for the previous week.
The notable drop in jobless claims comes following two consecutive weekly increases, which raised concerns the resurgence in coronavirus claims would stall the economic recovery.
The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also fell to 1,337,750, a decrease of 31,000 from the previous week's revised average of 1,368,750.
On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched report on the employment situation in the month of July.
Economists currently expected employment to jump by about 1.6 million jobs in July after spiking by 4.8 million jobs in June. The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 10.5 percent from 11.1 percent.
Stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday, with the Dow showing a particularly strong upward move on the day. The Dow jumped to its best closing level in nearly two months, while the Nasdaq reached another new record closing high.
The Dow reached a new high for the session in the final minutes of trading before closing up 373.05 points or 1.4 percent at 27,201.52. The Nasdaq climbed 57.23 points or 0.5 percent to 10,998.40 and the S&P 500 advanced 21.26 points or 0.6 percent to a five-month closing high of 3,327.77.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all shown notable moves to the downside. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has slumped by 1.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 1 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 0.6 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.27 to $41.92 a barrel after climbing $0.49 to $42.19 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, after soaring $28.30 to a new record closing high of $1,049.30 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are jumping $16.40 to $2,065.70 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 105.54 yen versus the 105.60 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1852 compared to yesterday's $1.1863.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.