U.S. equity futures are pointing to a large decline when trading begins Thursday on Wall Street.
The major futures indexes are indicating a drop of 2.5 percent or more than 660 points on the Dow Industrials on concerns about how long the economy will take to recover from the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve pledged to continue its plan of aggressive monetary policy to stimulate the economy for the next few years. It projected that it wouldn’t raise interest rates through 2022.
There are reports of rising numbers of coronavirus infections raising fears over risks from reopening from pandemic shutdowns.
Selling is being seen in the major global equity markets.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei sank 2.8 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 2.3 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite was off 0.8 percent.
In Europe, London’s FTSE fell 2.1 percent, Germany’s DAX dropped 2.29 percent and France’s CAC plunged 2.3 percent.
The U.S. Labor Department is expected to say the number of claims for unemployment benefits fell for the 10th week in a row to 1.55 million, down from 1.877 million the prior week. Since the coronavirus lockdowns were initiated back in mid-March, 42.65 million people have filed jobless claims.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||25599.01||-1,390.98||-5.15%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||9626.115752||-394.23||-3.93%|
In Wednesday’s session, the S&P 500 fell 0.5 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1 percent, but the Nasdaq added 0.7 percent to a fresh record close.
In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil dropped $1.55 to $38.06 a barrel. It rose 1.7 percent to settle at $39.60 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell $1.36 to $40.36 a barrel.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.