The U.S. stock market rally lost a little steam Thursday morning as futures slumped while investors braced for the latest weekly jobless claims report, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.

The Top Story

The U.S. stock market has enjoyed a lot of upward movement as investors continue to bet on a quick economic bounce back, but the rally stalled slightly Thursday morning.

All three major U.S. indexes have been on a tear over the last few days, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite is now only around 1.4% off its record-high closing set back in February before the coronavirus crash.

The newest weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department is set to drop later Thursday morning. Analysts expect new unemployment claims to drop below 2 million, which hasn’t been the case since mid-March and would further support the argument that the worst is behind us concerning the coronavirus.

Investors are still keeping an eye on the U.S.-China front as Hong Kong’s Legislative Council has now made it a crime to disrespect China’s national anthem, the latest move cutting into the territory’s autonomy. The U.S. has supported Hong Kong economically, but has threatened to end special treatment if Beijing continues to influence the territory.

As of 8 a.m. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 0.1%. S&P 500 futures fell 0.3% and Nasdaq futures were down 0.1%.

Stocks to Watch Today

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) — The American carmaker’s stock was down slightly despite reporting year-over-year sales growth of 130% for May in its Chinese market. It was a sign of economic recovery for China, where the coronavirus originated late last year.

American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) — As another sign of economic recovery out of the coronavirus lockdown, American Airlines announced it is increasing its July flight schedule to 55% of what was originally planned. That’s a huge jump from 20% in May, and the stock was trading almost 5% higher before the opening bell.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: INO) — The pharmaceutical organization is partnering with non-profit International Vaccine Institute for an early trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine later this month. Shares jumped in premarket trading on the news.

News You Can Use

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) is working on a new model of electric van for business users like Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and United Parcel Services Inc. (NYSE: UPS) as a way to break into a market that hasn’t been targeted by electric carmaker giant Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) yet, according to Reuters.

The multi-billion dollar strategy could give GM and other American carmakers like Ford a way to deliver more electric vehicles while consumer demand is still low.

“It’s going to be similar to what the Model 3 has done for the consumer market,” said Scott Phillippi, UPS senior director of fleet maintenance and engineering. “Now all of a sudden, we’re off to the races.”

ECB Ups Stimulus to Support Economy Hammered by COVID-19

The European Central Bank is increasing its asset purchases as a means to prop up the economy that was rocked by the coronavirus closures.

The ECB will increase purchases by 600 billion euros ($674 billion) to 1.35 trillion euros, while also extending the schedule of purchases through June 2021, six months longer than originally planned.

What We’re Reading

China Is Developing Its Own Digital Currency — and That’s Bullish for Bitcoin (Money & Markets)

Vanguard’s Eight-Year Quest to Crack $1 Trillion Market Drags On (Bloomberg)

Why Betting Against This Bear Market Bounce Is a Fool’s Errand — for Now (Money & Markets)

Earnings Report

Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:

Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN)

Docusign Inc. (Nasdaq: DOCU)

JM Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM)

Slack Technologies Inc. (NYSE: WORK)

Yext Inc. (NYSE: YEXT)

Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets