Stock futures are flat as investors brace for Friday’s jobs report

Soegeefx AppsUS MarketStock futures are flat as investors brace for Friday’s jobs report

U.S. stock futures dipped Thursday as traders continue to process comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and await key employment data.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures added 48 points, or 0.15%. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq-100 futures traded flat.

Those moves come a day after Powell reiterated his warning message to lawmakers that the central bank may raise interest rates higher than previously anticipated. However, he emphasized that no decision has been made yet regarding the March meeting.

Still, traders are bracing for a larger-than-expected rate hike at the central bank’s next policy meeting. More than 80% are calling for a 50 basis point hike, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

Investors received more news on the state of the labor market ahead of Friday’s closely watched nonfarm payrolls report. Jobless claims for the week ended March 4 rose more than expected, signaling that the labor may be beginning to slow. In retrospect, ADP’s payrolls report and JOLTs data on Wednesday seemed to indicate a resilient economy, heightening fears that the Fed needs to hike further to slow it.

Some economists, including those at Citi, expect a positive surprise to the upside come Friday’s payrolls data, following January’s blowout report. And, strong jobs growth could mean bad news for the market, wrote strategist Alex Saunders in a Wednesday note to clients.

“Given that good news is bad news for markets, we think this would likely cause equities to sell-off further and support the case for an outsize Fed hike,” Saunders said.

Source: CNBC

You might also like

Comments are closed.