Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Dow set to open higher a day after closing at a record
Traders on the NYSE, May 3, 2021.
2. Weekly jobless claims fell to pandemic lows ahead of Friday’s jobs report
The Labor Department on Thursday reported that initial jobless claims sank to a pandemic-era low of 498,000 last week, better than expectations and down 92,000 from the prior week. That’s the lowest tally of new filings for unemployment benefits since mid-March 2020 when they totaled 256,000 and the first time under 500,000 since then as well. U.S. companies’ April payrolls showed big gains but short of lofty expectations, according to the ADP’s latest monthly report issued Wednesday. The ADP data during Covid has consistently undershot the government’s official tally, which is due out Friday.
3. Moderna says early data shows Covid vaccine 96% effective in adolescents
A health care worker fills a syringe with Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as California opens up vaccine eligibility to any residents 16 years and older during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Chula Vista, California, April 15, 2021.
Mike Blake | Reuters
Moderna said its Covid vaccine was 96% effective in kids ages 12 to 17, according to early data released Thursday along with the company’s mixed first-quarter earnings and revenue. Shares fell more than 6% in the premarket. On Wednesday, citing early data from another ongoing trial, Moderna said a Covid booster shot generated a promising immune response against variants first identified in South Africa and Brazil. U.S. health officials said earlier Wednesday that highly contagious variants remain a “wild card” heading into the summer.
4. U.S. backs waiving patent protections for Covid vaccines
Crowds of people are seen shopping during a weekly market at Kandivali.
SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
The Biden administration said Wednesday it supports waiving intellectual property protections for Covid vaccines, as other countries around the world struggle to manufacture the life-saving doses. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC Tuesday that such a move would not impact the production of its Covid vaccine. “Bottlenecks are raw materials as raw materials are coming into manufacturing plants,” he said. India again reported record daily new Covid cases. According to The New York Times, India has only fully vaccinated 2% of its population compared to more than 30% in the U.S.
5. SEC chair to testify on short-selling, derivatives after GameStop, Archegos
Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), speaks during a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, July 30, 2013.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Gary Gensler, who was sworn in last month as SEC chairman, will testify Thursday at a House Financial Services Committee on the GameStop saga and Archegos meltdown. According to prepared testimony, Gensler will tell lawmakers that his agency is considering measures to require big investors to disclose more about their short positions, which played into January’s GameStop frenzy, as well as their use of derivatives, which felled Archegos. In addition, Gensler will talk about how stock trading apps entice retail customers using game-like features such as points, rewards, bonuses, and competitions.
— Reuters contributed to this report. Follow all the market action like a pro on CNBC Pro. Get the latest on the pandemic with CNBC’s coronavirus coverage.