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5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday

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1. Dow set to drop after worst day since June 11 plunge

Dow futures were under pressure on Thursday — but well off the nearly 400 point decline overnight — one day after the U.S. saw a record number of new daily coronavirus cases. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday sank 710 points, or 2.7%, in its worst session since plunging nearly 7% two weeks ago, as increasing Covid-19 infections dampened expectations for a swift economic recovery.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq on Wednesday both fell more than 2% as well, in their biggest declines since that June 11 nosedive. The Nasdaq’s decline broke an eight session winning streak, which saw record high closes on Monday and Tuesday. Apple’s rally to records, which had been leading the market higher, ended Wednesday. However, Apple shares were higher in Thursday’s premarket.

2. Weekly jobless claims seen above 1 million again

People line up outside a Kentucky Career Center hoping to find assistance with their unemployment claim in Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18, 2020.

Bryan Woolston | Reuters

The Labor Department, at 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday morning, is expected to report a 14th straight week of coronavirus crisis-driven initial jobless claims of over 1 million. Economists are forecasting that 1.35 million Americans filed for new unemployment insurance last week. Before the coronavirus, the record for a single week of new claims was 695,000 in September 1982.

The Commerce Department, also at 8:30 a.m. ET, issues two data sets: Durable goods orders for May and the final reading on first quarter gross domestic product. Durable goods are expected to jump 9.8% after falling 17.7% in April. GDP is expected to show the same 5% annual contractions registered a month ago.

Vice President Joe Biden has jumped out to a 9-point lead on President Donald Trump with five months to go until the election, but the CNBC All-America Economic Survey finds the president still has the edge among voters on the critical issue of the economy. It’s the only issue on which the president leads Biden, who had a 14-point advantage on dealing with the coronavirus.

3. U.S. hits highest day of new coronavirus cases 

The U.S. recorded its highest single-day of new Covid-19 cases ever, with 45,557 diagnoses reported Wednesday, according to a tally by NBC News. That number was more than 9,000 infections higher than the previous daily peak on April 26, weeks before states started to shut down their economies in hopes of slowing the spread of the outbreak.

Florida and California, two of the largest economies in the U.S, reported record numbers of new cases and rising hospitalizations, sparking concerns that Tallahassee and Sacramento could be forced to implement new stay-at-home orders and close nonessential businesses again.

Disney has decided to delay the reopening of its California-based theme parks — Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park — beyond July 17. In Florida, more than 7,000 people signed an online petition urging Disney and government officials there to reconsider the opening of Disney World in Orlando on July 11. The Wall Street Journal reports that Disney is thinking about postponing the July 24 release of “Mulan” as theaters struggle to reopen. Shares of Disney were lower in Thursday’s premarket.

4. Trump won’t follow New Jersey quarantine order

The White House said that Trump won’t follow New Jersey’s coronavirus quarantine order when he travels to his Bedminster golf club this weekend. On Wednesday, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut said that visitors from eight coronavirus hotspots, including Arizona where Trump was on Tuesday, would be required to quarantine for two weeks, or face fines.

At least eight people who worked on the advance team for Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, tested positive for Covid-19, including two of Secret Service agents. The Washington Post reports that dozens of Secret Service officers and agents on site for last weekend’s rally were ordered to self-quarantine.

5. Target adds fresh and frozen groceries to curbside pickup

The grocery section of a redesigned Target store in Duarte, California.

Source: Target

Target, starting Thursday, is adding hundreds of fresh and frozen groceries to its curbside pickup service as many Americans look for safer ways to shop during the coronavirus pandemic. The national retailer will offer 750 new produce, dairy, bakery, meat and frozen foods at over 400 stores by the end of the month and more than 1,500 stores, or about 80% of its U.S. locations, by the holidays.

Target is among the big retailers with the greatest exposure in states where coronavirus cases are surging, according to investment firm Instinet. The troublesome states identified in the Instinet analysis are Florida, Texas, Utah, South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Arizona, California, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

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