-Buy anything: Even if emerging-market stocks are dipping most risk assets, including commodities, developed-market stocks, and emerging-market currencies are making multi-month highs, while haven assets such as gold and government bonds are doing the same. The blame for this apparent market disconnect from the weak global outlook (we’re not even a week past that disappointing U.S. jobs report) is being placed firmly at the door of global central banks who are expected to stay more accommodative for longer. The current focus is on the European Central Bank’s corporate bond purchase program which this morning was said to be buying securities issued by troubled carmaker Volkswagen AG.
-Initial jobless claims: At 8:30 a.m. ET the Department of Labor will release weekly jobless claims data, a number that investors will be watching closely following last week’s disappointing payrolls number. Citigroup Inc. strategists led by Steven Englander say that a spike in jobless claims would confirm that the May payrolls figure released last week indicates a wider slowdown in the U.S. economy. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect today’s number to come in at 270,000, in line with recent weeks.
-Sovereign bond yields: This morning the yield on the U.K.’s 10-year government bonds fell to 1.220 percent, the lowest since Bloomberg started tracking the data in 1989. German bund yields are hovering close to the all-time record low reached yesterday. U.S. Treasury yields were at 1.678 percent at 6:05 a.m. ET, below the 1.7 percent that has proven to be a “key psychological level” over the past few months. With macro risks from Brexit, elections in Europe, and next week’s Fed meeting on the horizon, the trend may not be over yet.
-Markets lower: The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 0.5 percent overnight with almost every market in Asia closing lower. The biggest losses were in Japan where the Topix index percent as yen strengthening continued. In Europe the Stoxx 600 index was 1 percent lower at 6:13 a.m. ET in a broad-based selloff that saw 520 index members falling. Futures on the S&P 500 Index, which closed within points of an all-time high yesterday, were 0.4 percent lower.
-Democrats to turn up heat on TrumpFinal: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is due to take her involvement in the presidential race to a new level when she joins Vice-President Joe Biden on stage later today. Warren is expected to voice harsh criticism of Republican nominee Donald Trump at the event and upcoming television ads point to a negative campaign from both sides in what promises to be a fraught run-up to the vote in November.
-Stocks pause near new highs: The S&P 500 is flirting with all-time highs, having gone 43 days without a major dip. The index is roughly 0.7% away from the key 2,134.72 points level. If it gets above that, the index will set a new record — its first in more than a year.
The Nasdaq is nearing the 5,000 mark for the first time in 2016 — although it’s not tech stocksdriving the rally. The index closed just under 4,975 points on Wednesday, adding 13 points. It has surged nearly 20% since hitting a 52-week low in February. The last time it was above 5,000 was on December 31.
-Stock market movers — Vodafone, Orexigen Therapeutics: Vodafone Group (VOD) is up 1.5% premarket after announcing a $2.4 billion merger between its New Zealand unit and the country’s biggest pay-TV provider, Sky Network. Shares in Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX) are surging 4.7% premarket after the pharmaceutical company focused on treating obesity announced it had won a patent ruling against rival Actavis.
-Oil steady: U.S. crude oil futures are dipping but holding above $51 per barrel, compared to a mid-February low of $26.05. Oil prices have risen recently because of supply disruptions. Wildfires in Alberta forced Canadian authorities to close oil sands facilities and evacuate workers. And output in Nigeria also dropped after a wave of attacks by militants on the country’s oil infrastructure.
-Earnings and economics: JM Smucker Co (SJM)and Christopher and Banks Corporation (CBK) are reporting ahead of the open. H&R Block (HRB) and Mattress Firm (MFRM) will report after the close. The Department of Labor will release its Initial Claims report at 8:30 a.m. ET.
-Markets overview: European markets are all in the red in early trading. Markets across China and Hong Kong were closed on Thursday because of a holiday. Other Asian markets ended the session down. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average ended up 0.4%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.3%. The S&P 500 added 0.3%.