From the Wall Street Journal’s “Stock Futures Inch Up Ahead of Jobless Claims, Trade Data" posted early Thursday:
Stocks have ground higher this week as investors weighed strong corporate earnings and low interest rates against indicators that growth may be slowing in some parts of the world. Money managers say they are awaiting the jobs report for August, due Friday, for more cues on when and how the Federal Reserve may taper its bond purchases.
“The confluence of a strong recovery at the same time as very low interest rates and maybe the peak of policy accommodation: if you put those all together, it is a very powerful mix for risky assets,” said Bill Papadakis, macro economist at Lombard Odier. “If you consider the alternatives in which investors could put their money today—with interest rates where they are—equities are often the one option for somewhat better returns.”
The latest data on jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, is due at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists estimated first-time filings for unemployment insurance held near pandemic lows in late August. The Fed has signaled that the labor market’s recovery is a factor in its monetary policy decisions.
“We’re in an environment where bad news is sort of good news,” said Olivier Marciot, investment manager at Unigestion. “Every time the situation deteriorates on the macro front, it is making investors hopeful that central bank accommodation will be here for longer.”