U.S. Markets open in 3 hrs 23 mins

Jobless claims, Yellen speaks — What you need to know in markets on Thursday

Myles Udland
Markets Reporter

The highlight of the economic calendar on Thursday won’t come until after the market closes.

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen is set to speak during a town hall event set for 7:00 p.m. ET. The event is targeted at educators across the country and will discuss for teachers the role of the Federal Reserve System.

We wouldn’t really expect much in the way of monetary policy discussion to emerge from this event, but maybe a rates trader somewhere will plant a question with a teacher somewhere in America.

Elsewhere in economic news, the main data release will be the weekly report on initial jobless claims, which are expected to total 255,000. Import prices are also expected to cross at 8:30 a.m. ET and should show a 0.7% increase over the prior month.

In markets, Donald Trump’s press conference held Wednesday morning was the main event, with his comments moving the biotech ETF (IBB) down about 3%.

“I think a lot of industries are going to be coming back,” Trump said Wednesday.

“We have to get our drug industry coming back. Our drug industry has been disastrous. They’re leaving left and right. They supply our drugs, but they don’t make them here to a large extent. And the other thing we have to do is create new bidding procedures for the drug industry because they’re getting away with murder.”

Trump added that, “pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power. And there’s very little bidding on drugs. We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don’t bid properly. And were going to start bidding and were going to save billions of dollars over a period of time.”

During his press conference, Trump also touted the recent announcements from Ford (F) and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) that they’d invest in US plants and jobs in the coming years.

And if any companies in the pharma industry are concerned about a late night or early morning tweet from Trump slamming their hiring or pricing practices, maybe announcing some US-based investment will keep the President-elect at bay.

A quick parting note: the Dow closed at 19,954 on Wednesday. So maybe, just maybe, Thursday will at long last be the day we crack Dow 20,000.

Myles Udland is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @MylesUdland

Read more from Myles: