Here are the top news, trends, and analysis investors need to get their trading day started:

1. Dow set to higher Open after another big comeback

Traders work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

NYSE

2. In the past week, the weather-related data for the first unemployment claims fell sharply

The government reported 730,000 new jobless claims Thursday morning last week, well below estimates, although the numbers may be skewed due to the harsh winter weather in parts of the country. Even so, this is a huge 111,000 drop in initial jobless claims from the previous week’s revised downward trend. Despite the decline, the total was still well above anything the U.S. job market had ever seen before the coronavirus pandemic.

Durable goods orders rose 3.4% in January, more than three times higher than expected. The second estimate for fourth quarter economic growth was 4.1% annualized, slightly below estimates, but slightly above the previous figure of 4%. Taken together, unemployment claims, durable goods and GDP were evidence of a recovering economy.

3. GameStop stocks are rising again as Reddit favorites rebound again

Rafael Henrique | LightRocket | Getty Images

GameStop surged more than 70% in premarket trading on Thursday as the heavily trimmed stocks favored by Reddit traders rose again. The video game retailer’s shares doubled to nearly $ 92 each Wednesday after CFO Jim Bell stepped down. Last month’s GameStop frenzy sent stocks soaring, which put brief pressure on a number of Wall Street hedge funds. GameStop traded below $ 20 a share in early January before climbing to an intraday high of $ 483 on Jan. 28, an increase of more than 2,300%. The stock tumbled below $ 50 in mid-February before rising below $ 50 on Wednesday.

4. Pfizer, Moderna work on gunshots against strain discovered in South Africa

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Thursday that they were testing a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine to better understand the immune response to new variants of the coronavirus. They are also in talks with regulators about testing a vaccine that is specifically protected against the new variant in South Africa.

Moderna has delivered a new Covid vaccine to the National Institutes of Health, which is said to offer better protection against the variant common in South Africa. The new vaccine can be tested in an early clinical trial to see if it can be used as a booster dose against the highly communicable strain. Moderna expects Covid vaccine sales of $ 18.4 billion in 2021.

5. GOP rallies against the Democrats’ Covid aid package

Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters after the weekly Republicans lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, United States, on February 23, 2021.

Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

Republicans rallied against the Democrats’ proposed $ 1.9 trillion Covid relief bill as lawmakers awaited a Senate MP decision that could bolster or kill a crucial provision to increase the federal minimum wage. Despite the small majority on Capitol Hill, Democratic leaders were ready to push the comprehensive package through the house on Friday. They hoped the Senate would follow soon enough to have legislation on President Joe Biden’s desk by mid-March.

– Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all developments on Wall Street in real time with CNBC Pro’s live market blog. Find out about the latest pandemics on our coronavirus blog.