5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday

1. Dow to dip after surge above 29,000 again

One day before the government’s August employment report, weekly jobless claims are out at 8: 30 a.m. ET on Thursday. Economists are looking for 950,000 new filings for unemployment benefits. The number will not be directly comparable to last week’s 1 million claims because the Labor Department has changed its methodology for seasonal adjustments of the data. The change begins this week.

2. Apple and Tesla stumble a bit after splits

Apple and Tesla were under pressure again in the premarket after Wednesday’s declines. Shares of the two companies were sharply higher on Monday, when their stock splits took effect, and then on Tuesday as well. In fact, both enjoyed huge rallies after the announcements of their splits weeks ago. Tesla sank nearly 6% on Wednesday after the electric auto maker’s largest outside shareholder reduced its position. U.K.-based fund group Baillie Gifford said it remains a long-term believer in Elon Musk’s company, and the reduction in ownership was due to portfolio restrictions after the stock’s huge rally.

3. Facebook to ban new political ads in week before election

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law during a hearing on “Online Platforms and Market Power”, in the Rayburn House office Building on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., July 29, 2020.

Mandel Ngan | Pool via Reuters

Facebook announced Thursday it would ban new political ads from running in the week before the presidential election on Nov. 3. The social network also said it would label any post from a candidate attempting to declare victory before the final results are in with a link to the official tally from Reuters and the National Election Pool. Until now, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been adamant about allowing political ads on Facebook and Instagram, even if political candidates use those ads to lie or spread misinformation. Other social media companies, including Twitter, have already banned political ads on their platforms.

4. Federal deficit to hit record $3.3 trillion due to coronavirus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, during a hybrid hearing, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Graeme Jennings | Pool via AP

The federal budget deficit is projected to hit a record $3.3 trillion due to huge government expenditures to fight the coronavirus and to prop up the economy, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That number is more than double the levels experienced after the market meltdown and Great Recession in 2008 and 2009. The spike in the deficit means that federal debt will exceed annual gross domestic product next year, a level that would put the U.S. where it was in the aftermath of World War II, when accumulated debt exceeded the size of the economy.

5. CDC asks states to speed Covid-19 vaccine site approvals

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing in Washington, D.C., July 31, 2020.

Erin Scott | Pool | Reuters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking states to expedite the approval process for medical supply company McKesson so it can set up Covid-19 vaccination sites by Nov. 1, two days before Election Day. The agency said states may need to waive some licensing and permit requirements that could bog down the process. However, CDC Director Robert Redfield noted the licensing waivers “will not compromise the safety or integrity of the products being distributed.”

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