Here are the top news, trends, and analysis investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stock futures are unchanged one day after the S&P 500 and Dow posted new records
People walk past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City on August 10, 2021.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
US stock futures were barely changed on Thursday morning after another record-breaking session for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. S&P 500 futures rose marginally while Dow futures climbed only 40 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq 100 futures also rose slightly. The S&P 500 and Dow closed on new all-time highs on Wednesday after investors shrugged at the latest readings for the US consumer price index. The index rose 5.4% year over year, which was roughly in line with expectations.
2. US unemployment claims, wholesale price data ahead
A chef interviews a job seeker about hospitality employment during a job fair on June 23, 2021 in Torrance, California.
PATRICK T. FALLON | AFP | Getty Images
Weekly US jobless claims data is due to be released Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the number of first-time applicants to hit 375,000 for the week ending August 7. That would be a decrease from a pandemic-era low of 385,000 last week.
The latest reading for the producer price index – which measures wholesale prices – will also be released on Thursday morning. Economists estimate the index rose 0.6% in July. Investors see the PPI as another indicator of inflation. If the index, along with the claims numbers, turns out stronger than expected, it could fuel the ongoing debate about when the Federal Reserve could begin scaling back its massive monetary stimulus programs.
3. Alaska Air is considering Covid vaccine mandates for employees
A Boeing Co. 737-9 aircraft during a Boeing Co. ecoDemonstrator program tour at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia, the United States, on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Alaska Airlines is considering making the Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for its employees, according to a company memo viewed by CNBC. The company said that if it made vaccines mandatory for its employees, it would do so after the Food and Drug Administration fully approves currently available vaccinations. This policy change would make the airline the newest airline to require its employees to be vaccinated. United Airlines was the first major airline to do this last week.
4. Give Fed Chairman Powell “the benefit of the doubt” on inflation, Cramer says
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing of the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Selection Subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis on June 22, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, United States.
Graeme Jennings | Reuters
CNBC’s Jim Cramer urged investors to support the monetary policy approach of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as inflationary pressures mount. “I say give Jay Powell the benefit of the doubt. He has been right like rain since the beginning of the pandemic. His critics have been completely wrong for ages,” said Cramer on Wednesday at Mad Money. “Powell insisted we have to wait and see what happens to the Delta option before raising or even lowering rates.” Cramer also noted that the recent surge in inflation may be temporary.
5. Messi is partially paid in crypto
The Qatari President of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al-Khelaifi (L) and the sporting director of Paris Saint-Germain, Leonardo Nascimento de Araujo (R), pose next to the Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi (C) while he is during a press Shirt with the number 30 held up August 2021 in the Parc des Princes stadium of the French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in Paris.
Stephane De Sakutin | AFP | Getty Images