U.S. futures add to steep losses after data; Dow drops 2%

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Forexpros - U.S. stock futures plunged on Thursday, tracking global equities lower, as mounting concerns over global economic growth prospects prompted investors to shun riskier assets, while downbeat U.S. data also weighed.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a drop of 2%, the S&P 500 futures tumbled 2.4%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures sank 2.35%.

Stock futures added to losses after official data showed that first time jobless claims rose by 9,000 to 408,000 last week, worse than expectations for an increase to 400,000

A separate report showed that the U.S. core consumer price inflation rose 0.2% in July, in line with market expectations, while consumer prices including food and energy costs rose 0.5% in last month.

Meanwhile, shares in the financial sector performed poorly ahead of the open, tracking sharp losses in their European counterparts.

The largest U.S. lender Bank of America saw shares drop 4.5%, Citigroup shares retreated 4%, Wells Fargo shares declined 2.9%, while U.S.-listed shares of Barclays tumbled 7.5%.

In earnings news, technology firm NetApp saw shares plunge 14.3% after reporting lower-than-expected fiscal first quarter profit, as costs grew faster than revenue. The company lowered its full-year earnings outlook as a result.

Shares in retail conglomerate Sears fell 4.1% after its second quarter loss widened to USD146 million, as revenue declined 1.2%.

The largest U.S. personal computer maker Hewlett-Packard retreated 2.3% ahead of the company's earnings report due out after Thursday's closing bell.

Other notable earnings scheduled for Thursday included clothing retailer GAP, as well as software manufacturers Salesforce.com, Autodesk and Intuit.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were sharply lower, as shares in the financial sector led losses amid ongoing concerns over the region's debt crisis.

The EURO STOXX 50 tumbled 3.4%, France's CAC 40 sank 3.1%, Germany's DAX plummeted 3.9%, while Britain's FTSE 100 fell 2.8%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index declined 1.35%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed 1.25% lower amid ongoing concerns over prospects for global economic growth, while shares in Japanese exporters were pressured by a strong yen.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to produce official data on existing home sales, manufacturing activity in Philadelphia as well as a report on natural gas stockpiles.

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

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

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