April 30, 2020 / 11:51 AM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Dow, S&P 500 futures dip at end of strong month; jobless data eyed

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* U.S. weekly unemployment data due at 8:30 a.m. EDT

* Tesla jumps after reporting profitable quarter

* McDonald’s dips as quarterly profit slides

* Futures: Dow off 0.29%, S&P 500 down 0.38%, Nasdaq up 0.23% (Adds comments, details, updates prices)

By C Nivedita

April 30 (Reuters) - Dow and S&P 500 stock index futures dipped on Thursday at the end of a strong month for Wall Street, with investors nervous about another stunning jobless claims figure, while Nasdaq futures were supported by upbeat earnings from Facebook and Tesla.

The S&P 500 is on course for its best month since 1974, powered by dramatic U.S. monetary and fiscal stimulus and hopes of a revival in business activity as states reopen from lockdowns.

All three U.S. stock indexes ended Wednesday’s session closer to all-time highs reached in February after positive partial data from a trial of Gilead Science Inc’s antiviral remdesivir showed an improved recovery rate in COVID-19 patients.

Although data is likely to show weekly jobless claims stabilized after scaling record highs in March, other numbers have shown that the U.S. economy confirmed its sharpest contraction since the Great Recession in the first quarter.

“When you have numbers like jobless claims coming up, trading, especially in the pre-market, will continue to be volatile,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

“If the numbers should come in better than expected, the market probably will focus on new drugs coming to the market sooner-than-anticipated, and the earnings from the tech sector.”

The Federal Reserve pledged on Wednesday to expand emergency programs to revive growth but dashed hopes for a fast rebound, saying the economy could feel the weight of consumer fear and social distancing for a year.

Facebook Inc jumped 8.5% after beating analysts’ estimates for first-quarter revenue and saying it had seen “signs of stability” for ad sales in April after a plunge in March.

Electric car maker Tesla Inc gained 8.4% after posting its third straight quarterly profit, taking investors by surprise as its automaker peers were hit by a slump in consumer demand and factory shutdowns.

Twitter rose 5.8% after it said that its ads sales had slightly rebounded in Asia after a plunge due to the coronavirus outbreak and that it had accelerated work on tools to attract key advertisers.

McDonald’s Corp fell 1% after it reported a 16.7% slide in quarterly profit as most of its restaurants across the globe limited their services to deliveries and take-aways.

At 7:38 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 72 points, or 0.29%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 11.25 points, or 0.38% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 21 points, or 0.23%.

The two remaining FAANG stocks - Apple Inc and Amazon.com - will report results after markets close. (Reporting by C Nivedita and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D’Silva)

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