Dow futures point to lower open as indexes head for some weekly losses

Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes pointed to a lower start to Friday’s session, leaving Wall Street on track for modest weekly losses.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 207 points, implying an opening loss of about 206 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also pointed to losses. Earlier on, futures had pointed to opening gains for the three indexes.

The early morning moves on Friday followed one of the week’s better days on Thursday as oil’s biggest one-day rally ever soothed investors who’d grown worried over financial and job losses in the energy sector. 

Though West Texas crude futures at $25.32 per barrel is less than half the price the contracts traded at as recently as January, the one-day rally was enough to carry the major equity indexes higher.

The Dow rose 469.93 points, or 2.2%, on Thursday but remained on pace to finish the week down 1% as of the session’s close. Chevron led the blue-chip index higher, rallying 11% and singlehandedly added more than 50 points.

The S&P 500 also gained 2.2% to finish the day at 2,526.90 with energy sector components up over 9%.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 remain more than 25% below their respective all-time highs set in February as marketplace jitters over the spread of COVID-19 foster volatile trading on Wall Street.

There have been more than 245,000 confirmed infections in the United States and more than 6,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

Nonfarm payrolls

Investors will be watching out for new data, with nonfarm payrolls due at 8:30 a.m. ET and Markit services PMIs expected at 9:45 a.m. ET.

Numbers released earlier this week showed that more than 6.65 million people in the U.S. filed for unemployment benefits last week. 

There are no earnings reports scheduled for Friday.

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