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US STOCKS-Futures flat after jobless claims data; drugmakers extend fall

Stock MarketsMay 06, 2021 21:10
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© Reuters.

* Weekly jobless claims fall more than expected
* Pharma slides as Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine IP waiver
* ViacomCBS rises on beating quarterly revenue estimates
* Futures: Dow up 0.12%, S&P and Nasdaq flat

(Adds comments, bullets, details; updates prices throughout)
By Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar
May 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set for a subdued open on
Thursday after data showed weekly jobless claims fell more than
expected, while vaccine makers came under pressure after
President Joe Biden's plan to back intellectual property waivers
on COVID-19 shots.
Shares in Pfizer Inc PFE.N , Moderna Inc MRNA.O , Johnson
& Johnson JNJ.N and Novavax Inc NVAX.O , all involved in the
making of COVID-19 vaccines, fell between 0.8% and 9.2% in
premarket trading. The declines were triggered after Biden said he had backed a
World Trade Organization waiver for vaccine intellectual
property to enhance the fight against the pandemic. Moderna also raised its 2021 sales forecast for its COVID-19
vaccine, reflecting demand from countries looking to return to
normalcy through rapid inoculation. "It could clearly reduce potential revenues some of these
firms were expecting to generate from licensing their patents,"
said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI ended at a record
high in the previous session, supported by a rise in
economically sensitive cyclical stocks, while the Nasdaq was hit
by declines in growth stocks.
Shares of highly valued technology-related stocks like
Microsoft Corp MSFT.O , Apple Inc AAPL.O , Alphabet Inc
GOOGL.O and Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O were trading flat to
slightly lower.
A Labor Department report showed fewer Americans filed new
claims for unemployment benefits last week as the labor market
recovery gains steam amid an economic boom.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a
seasonally adjusted 498,000 for the week ended May 1 compared to
590,000 in the prior week.
Investors are awaiting the more comprehensive non-farm
payrolls data on Friday to get clues on strength of the labor
market and potentially the U.S. Federal Reserve's stance on
monetary policy.
"The Fed is looking at more jobs created before they think
there will be an issue and we are very far away from that," said
Arthur Weise, chief investment officer at Kingsland Growth
Advisors in New York.
At 8:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 41 points, or
0.12%, S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 1 point, or 0.02%, and
Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 3 points, or 0.02%.
Among other stocks, ViacomCBS Inc VIACA.O rose 4.1% after
reporting quarterly revenue that beat Wall Street estimates.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc REGN.O edged 0.4% higher
after the drugmaker reported a 78% rise in first-quarter profit,
helped by a robust recovery in demand for its eye drug Eylea.
Uber Technologies Inc UBER.N fell 3.6% as it signaled it
would pay drivers more to get cars back on the road and
disclosed a $600 million charge to provide UK drivers with
benefits.

US STOCKS-Futures flat after jobless claims data; drugmakers extend fall
 

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