At 6:05 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 64 points, or 0.25%. The lost 0.65% to 3,149.26 and the Nasdaq rose 0.21% to 10,515 points.
The S&P 500 drifted up and down for most of the day, before a last-hour lift sent it to a gain of 0.8%.
Quarterly earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to decline almost 44% year-on-year, the steepest drop since the 2008 financial crisis, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Futures contracts tied to the significant USA inventory indexes held steady in the course of the overnight session Wednesday evening just hours right after the Nasdaq Composite clinched its 25th history close for 2020. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was nearly flat and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8%.
The Nasdaq finished at another record on Thursday (July 9), but the Dow and S&P 500 retreated as markets weigh the economic toll from the spike in coronavirus cases in many U.S. states.
Almost 63,000 new covid-19 infections - a new record - were confirmed in the US on Wednesday, including nearly 10,000 in Texas and about 11,700 in California.
The Kospi in Seoul was 0.4% higher at 2,167.90 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.6% to 5,955.50.
Considering that very last week's close, the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq Composite are up 1.28%,.93% and 2.79%, respectively.
The August crude contract was down US$1.39 at US$39.51 per barrel and the August natural gas contract was down less than a penny at US$1.82 per mmBTU.
US stocks had opened higher after data showed the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits dropped to a near four-month low last week, but a record 32.9 million people were collecting unemployment checks in the third week of June.
The surge, which has forced authorities to scale back on reopening plans in parts of the country, is only expected to delay economic recovery, according to market experts, while their longer-term expectations of growth remain intact. It also said next year's expected rebound could be weaker than expected. Gold tends to rise when investors are anxious about the economy, and on Wednesday it touched its highest price since September 2011, which was shortly after it set its record.
Treasury yields ticked higher.
Looking at the individual performance of the FAANG cohort, on Wednesday, the Facebook share price rose 1.13%, Amazon added 2.70% to confidently trade above the US$3,000 per share level, Google (Alphabet) saw its stock creep up 0.73%, Apple rose 2.33% and Netflix gained 1.95%.