Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Stock futures turn positive after three days of losses
- Weekly initial jobless claims hit new Covid-era low
- Bitcoin rises to nearly $42,000 after Wednesday's plunge
- Virgin Galactic jumps after next spaceflight test set for Saturday
- Oatly, backed by star-studded investors, set to begin trading
1. Stock futures turn positive after three days of losses
U.S. stock futures turned positive Thursday after three days of losses as tech names and bitcoin bounced higher. Dow component Cisco Systems dropped 4% in Thursday's premarket, trimming bigger overnight losses, one day after the data center networking firm issued weaker-than-expected earnings guidance. The Nasdaq closed basically flat after sinking as much as 1.7% earlier Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 also saw major comebacks from steep drops to close only modestly lower.
2. Weekly initial jobless claims hit new Covid-era low
The government Thursday reported a new Covid low for initial jobless claims. New filings for unemployment benefits came in at a lower-than-expected 444,000 last week. The prior week was revised slightly higher to 478,000.
The 10-year Treasury yield backed away from its previous day pop to 1.678% as minutes from the Federal Reserve's April meeting suggested central bankers might taper the pace of extraordinary pandemic-era asset purchases if the economy continues to recover rapidly.
3. Bitcoin rises to nearly $42,000 after Wednesday's plunge
Bitcoin on Thursday rose to nearly $42,000 after the wild ride of the past day saw the world's largest cryptocurrency tank 30% Wednesday to three-month lows near $30,000. That represented an over 50% decline from last month's all-time high of almost $65,000. At Wednesday's lows, the digital coin went to basically breakeven for 2021. However, it was still up more than 200% in the past 12 months. During Wednesday afternoon trading, bitcoin rebounded before pulling back later in the day and overnight.
4. Virgin Galactic jumps after next spaceflight test set for Saturday
Shares of Virgin Galactic jumped nearly 24% in Thursday's premarket after the space tourism firm said it's targeting Saturday for its next spaceflight test. The company made the announcement following the completion of a maintenance review of its carrier aircraft that had threatened delays. Virgin Galactic is aiming to begin commercial service in 2022. Ahead of the premarket surge, the stock was off 27% this year and down 65% in the past three months. It saw a major leg down last week after Cathie Wood's Ark Invest revealed her firm's space exploration ETF had sold almost all of its Virgin Galactic stake.
5. Oatly, backed by star-studded investors, set to begin trading
Oatly is set to debut on the Nasdaq on Thursday after pricing its initial public offering at $17 per share, the top of the expected range. The Swedish oat milk maker raised $1.4 billion, valuing the company at $10 billion. Last year, Oatly raised $200 million in a funding round led by private equity firm Blackstone, and included Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, an entertainment firm founded by rapper Jay Z, and former Starbucks boss Howard Schultz.