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Stock futures open higher after Nasdaq clinches new record

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Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes rose at the start of the overnight session Wednesday evening just hours after the Nasdaq Composite clinched its 25th record close for 2020.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 50 points at the start of the overnight session, implying an opening gain of 0.3% when regular trading resumes on Thursday. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures pointed to similar opening climbs of 0.3% each.

The after-hours moves Wednesday evening followed a positive regular session on Wednesday, with the major indexes brushing off a record daily increase in new U.S. Covid-19 cases. Big Tech continued to carry the broader market higher on during regular trading and again allowed the Nasdaq Composite to outpace the S&P 500 and Dow industrials.

The Nasdaq rose 1.44% between a 2.3% rally in Apple, a 2.7% rise in Amazon and a 3.49% climb in Nvidia. The index closed at a record high 10,492.50.

The S&P 500 notched a more modest 0.78% gain on Wednesday while Microsoft and Goldman Sachs helped push the Dow up 177 points, or 0.68%

Since last week’s close, the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq Composite are up 1.28%, 0.93% and 2.79%, respectively. The Nasdaq is up 29.68% over the last three months.

The latest iteration of the Labor Department report on weekly jobless claims will be released Thursday morning.

The weekly figures provide Wall Street with critical insight on how many Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, known as continuing claims.

Another 1.39 million workers are expected to have filed first-time claims for state unemployment benefits during the week ended July 4. That would mark a deceleration from the prior week, though still well above any reading prior to the pre-Covid era. 

Last week, the government said initial jobless claims rose by 1.427 million in the final week of June. That marked the 15th straight week in which initial claims remained above 1 million.

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