Stocks Look To Extend Losses As Futures Market Sinks

Stocks look set to extend their losses as futures were down on Thursday (May 20) following three straight days of declines and a steep drop in cryptocurrency prices. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down nearly 200 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also in the red. Shares of Cisco dropped 5.62% in pre-market trading after the data center networking hardware maker issued weaker-than-expected earnings guidance for the current second quarter. The latest drop in futures follows a roller-coaster session on Wall Street triggered by a sudden drop in the price of Bitcoin, which led to a sharp sell-off in many speculative areas of the stock market. Cryptocurrency-linked shares, including Tesla, Coinbase and MicroStrategy, led the market decline as Bitcoin fell as much as 30% on Wednesday (May 19). The S&P 500 slid 1.6% at its session low on Wednesday but recouped most of the losses to close down just 0.3% as the market stabilized and Bitcoin bounced off its low. The blue-chip Dow finished the session about 160 points lower after plunging 580 points at one point. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended the day flat, erasing a 1.7% decline. Bitcoin was trading just under $40,000 U.S. in pre-market trading Thursday, according to Coin Metrics. That’s well below the digital coin’s all-time high of $63,000 U.S. reached in March of this year. On Wednesday, investors also digested the U.S. Federal Reserve’s minutes from April that hinted the central bank is considering slowing its asset purchase programs. Investors are now awaiting the latest number of U.S. weekly jobless claims to gauge the pace of the labor market recovery. New claims for unemployment benefits are expected to total 452,000 for the week ended May 15, slightly lower than 473,000 in the previous week, according to economists polled by Dow Jones.
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