Stock futures slump; Earnings, Jobless claims, Twitter hack, and more

Wall Street 

Stocks set to open in the red as U.S.-China tensions and virus fears weigh

U.S. stocks look set to open lower on Thursday amid coronavirus fears and deteriorating tensions between Washington and Beijing.

By 5:10 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were plunged 252 points, or 0.94% to 26,513. S&P 500 futures dropped 28.75 points, or 0.89% to 3,190.75 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures were down 171.5 points, or 1.61% to 10,511.75.

According to a report in the New York Times, the Trump administration is considering sweeping ban on travel to the United States from leaders of the Chinese Communist Party and their families. The NYT said, citing sources familiar with the matter, that the presidential proclamation is still in its draft form and the President might ultimately reject it.

Meanwhile, the total number of reported U.S. coronavirus cases is rapidly nearly 3.5 million after California, Florida, Arizona, and Texas reported an additional 36,000 new cases yesterday.

Weekly jobless claims on watch

On the economic data front, the U.S. Labor Department is set to release unemployment claims report for the week ended July 11.

The report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show 1.25 million American workers filed for jobless claims as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hurt the economy. 1.314 million people filed unemployment claims a week earlier.

Continuing claims, which refers to the number of people not just filing but staying on jobless benefits, are expected to come in at 17.6 million from 18.06 million.

Netflix, BOA, Morgan Stanley earnings eyed

Corporate figures will also be on traders’ mind with Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) all scheduled to report.

Analysts expect Bank of America to post earnings of $0.27 per share on revenue of $22.01 billion ahead of the bell. Morgan Stanley is seen posting earnings of $1.12 per share on $10.31 billion revenue.

Netflix is projected to report earnings of $1.81 per share and revenue of $6.08 billion after the market close.

Twitter stock falls after hackers compromise high-profile accounts

Shares in Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) slid in pre-market trade Thursday after the accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kanye West, and Michael Bloomberg were all hacked Wednesday in a bid to solicit Bitcoin from millions of followers.

Uber (NYSE: UBER) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)’s official Twitter accounts were also targeted. The accounts sent out tweets promising to double money for followers sending money via Bitcoin within 30 minutes.

In a statement, Twitter said it detected “a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.”

As of this writing, shares of the social media company were down 6.39% to $33.39 each pre-market.