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US futures fall on latest economic reports

US futures fall on latest economic reports

Stock futures slid Thursday on U.S. economic reports that showed only modest growth in the economy for the first three months of the year and a very slow recovery in the job market.
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week, but unemployment is still stuck at an unhealthy level.
Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 82 points to 12,471. Standard & Poor's 500 futures fell 6.7 points to 1,318.80 and Nasdaq futures gave up 13 points to 2,544.75.
The Commerce Department said that the overall economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the January-March quarter. Consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, grew at only a 2.5 percent rate, below the previous 2.7 percent estimate while business investment was stronger.
The Labor Department said that weekly applications fell to a seasonally adjusted 386,000, down from 392,000 the previous week. However, the four-week average, which is considered a more reliable barometer because it's less volatile, was mostly unchanged at 386,750.
Employers added an average of only 73,000 jobs per month in April and May, which is much worse than the 226,000 added during the first three months of 2012.
Also, markets awaited a decision from the Supreme Court on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
Four major issues are at stake, the most critical is a requirement that most people have health insurance. That will affect companies across the health sector and beyond. That decision is expected to be handed down after 10 a.m. Eastern.
In Europe, leaders are gathering in Brussels trying to figure a way out of the continent's vicious debt cycle, but hopes for a panacea are weakening with little consensus among leaders, notably German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany opposes the idea of pooling debt and lightening the load of the most troubled members of the European Union.


Updated : 2021-05-18 10:10 GMT+08:00