US STOCKS-Stimulus hopes lift futures ahead of weekly jobless claims data

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* Futures up: Dow 0.53%, S&P 0.50%, Nasdaq 0.62%
By Sagarika Jaisinghani
Oct 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose for a second straight day on Thursday as bets on a gradual fiscal stimulus deal lifted sentiment ahead of weekly jobless claims data, which likely shows a continued recovery in the labor market.
The Labor Department report found that 820,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the week ending October 3, a slight decrease from 837,000 the previous week, but still at the recession level.
Signs of a slowing domestic recovery and political uncertainty in the run-up to the November 3rd US presidential election prevented a five-month series of wins on Wall Street's major indices in September.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has since urged Washington to put in place more fiscal incentives to help businesses and households.
After US President Donald Trump dashed hopes for a comprehensive law to relieve coronavirus on Tuesday, investors are expecting at least part of the deal that could include a rescue package for the ailing aviation industry.
The shares of Delta Air Lines Inc., American Airlines Group Inc., United Airlines Holdings Inc. and JetBlue Airways Corp. rose between 0.8% and 1.7% in early premarket trading.
Analysts and fund managers said stock markets had also begun to digest the prospect of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's victory. Public opinion polls and betting markets have shown support for Biden is rising after Trump said last week he signed COVID-19.
Trump is slated to appear in his first television interview since the announcement on Friday later that day. Fox Business Network said the interview aired after 8:00 a.m. (1200 GMT).
At 6:38 a.m. ET, the Dow E-Minis were up 150 points or 0.53%, the S&P 500 E-Minis were up 17 points or 0.5%, and the Nasdaq 100 E-Minis were up 71 points or 0, 62%.
Coty Inc was up 5.1% after the cosmetics maker announced the launch of direct-to-consumer websites for the Kylie Skin brand in the UK, France, Germany and Australia.
With earnings season starting in the third quarter next week, analysts expect S&P 500 company earnings to be about 21% year-over-year for the quarter, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; editing by Maju Samuel)

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