Stocks Retreat As Initial Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise

by Warrior2

Tech stocks are in focus today after Facebook’s decision to block news feeds in Australia.

Facebook Blocks All Media Content In Australia

Facebook decided to block all media content in Australia after the country drafted a law that would require Facebook and Google to pay for news. Google has chosen to reach deals with media outlets but Facebook preferred to implement a hardline approach.

The move sparked outrage as Facebook also blocked government and charity pages. Not surprisingly, Facebook’s decision was followed by calls for Big Tech regulation from various countries.

Worries about Big Tech regulation weighed on Nasdaq futures which are losing about 0.8% in premarket trading. S&P 500 futures are also under pressure ahead of the market open.Advertisement

Oil Tries To Settle Above The $62 Level As Crude Inventories Decline

WTI oil made an attempt to settle above the $62 level as API Crude Oil Stock Change report indicated that crude inventories decreased by 5.8 million barrels compared to analyst consensus which called for a decline of 2.2 million barrels.

If API data is confirmed by EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report which is scheduled to be published today, oil may get a boost. It should be noted that recent reports suggest that physical demand for oil has began to grow which is bullish for the oil market.

Initial Jobless Claims Increase To 861,000

The U.S. has just released Initial Jobless Claims and Continuing Jobless Claims reports. Initial Jobless Claims report indicated that 861,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits in a week compared to analyst consensus of 765,000.

Meanwhile, Continuing Jobless Claims increased from 4.55 million to 4.49 million while analysts projected that they would decline to 4.4 million. The reports were much worse than expected which is surprising as the latest data indicated that the U.S. economy continued to rebound. The disappointing employment data will likely put additional pressure on stocks at the beginning of the trading session.

Building Permits increased by 10.4% month-over-month in January while analysts expected that they would decline by 3.5%. Housing Starts declined by 6% month-over-month.

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