Equity futures are stalled ahead of the October jobs report

A special trader is working inside a booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, October 6, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Stock futures were mostly flat in overnight trading on Thursday ahead of the highly anticipated October jobs report.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average drop 12 points. S&P 500 futures were close to the flat line and Nasdaq 100 futures were little changed.

Investors expect the release of October nonfarm payroll numbers on Friday morning. Agreement estimates require 450,000 jobs added, according to Dow Jones. The September report estimated 194,000 additional jobs, well below the 500,000 estimate.

“Tomorrow’s Wage numbers are becoming even more significant as it is the first full month of employment since the expiration of federal enhanced unemployment benefits, while public health has simultaneously improved and job demand has remained strong,” Goldman Sachs ’Chris Hussey said Thursday.

Thursday’s regular trading session saw the S&P 500 gain 0.4% to close at a record high on its sixth straight winning day. The Nasdaq Composite noted its ninth consecutive positive session, rising 0.8% to a record close. The Dow countered the trend and dipped 33.35 points.

The technology sector led the S&P 500, up 1.5% on Thursday. Finances lagged with a 1.3% loss.

Market participants have digested the Federal Reserve’s plan to begin reducing its pandemic aid by the end of November, putting the central bank on track to complete its asset purchase program by the middle of next year.

Investors also received a fresh job market reading on Thursday, as first-time jobless claims totaled 269,000 last week, the lowest total of a pandemic era and lower than expected.

All three main averages are on track to finish the week higher. The Dow is up 0.9% on the week, while the S&P 500 is 1.6% higher and the Nasdaq Combine is up 2.9%.


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