U.S. stock futures retreated Friday morning, a reversal after the three main benchmarks ended a holiday-shortened session on Wednesday all at records on the same day for the first time in 17 months. Investors eagerly awaited a key read on the labor market.
U.S. markets were closed on Thursday for Independence Day.
How are benchmarks faring?
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
gave up 39 points, or 0.1%, at 26,931, those for the S&P 500 index
declined 5.80 points, or 0.2%, to reach 2,994.75, while Nasdaq-100 futures
shed 16.50 points, or 0.2%, at 7,871.
On Tuesday, the Dow
rose 179.32 points, or 0.7%, at 26,966, its first record close since Oct. 3, while the S&P 500 index
set its third straight record close, rising 22.81 points, or 0.8% to 2,995.82. The Nasdaq Composite Index
ended the day at an all-time high of 8,170.23, adding 61.14 points, or 0.8%.
The trio of equity gauges finished at all-time highs on the same day for the first time since Jan. 26, 2018, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
What’s driving the market?
After a lackluster reading of 75,000 jobs created in May, Wall Street is anticipating that the number of new jobs to bounce back in June. Economists polled by MarketWatch predict the U.S. created 170,000 jobs last month. The jobless rate is seen holding steady at 3.6%, which is the lowest rate since 1969.
A weak labor-market figure, one that runs below estimates, or shows an increase in unemployment, could indicate that the U.S. economy is decelerating, joining other major developed across the globe that are showing signs of sluggish expansion.
Investors are anticipating that the Federal Reserve will use the nonfarm-payroll data as a key metric in determining the need for a cut to benchmark rates that is increasingly expected by market participants.
Wall Street, as gauged by CME Group data, are pricing in a near-certain reduction of rates when the Federal Open Market Committee concludes its two-day policy meeting on July 30-31. The only question is the degree of cut. A quarter of the market expects a half-percentage point cut to a range of 1.75%-2%, from the current 2.25%-2.50%.
“In a post holiday trading session the key macro indicator of the month could set the stage for a new round of skepticism,” wrote Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities, in a daily research note.
“We see [nonfarm-[payrolls] growing by 89,000 with total unemployment at 3.7%. Although, our forecast calls for job’s growth, we reiterate, the job’s market has reached the maximum of growth acceleration as the strains of the trade war are felt,” he wrote.
The jobs report is slated to be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
How are other markets trading?
In overnight action, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
finished barely in negative territory, down less than 0.1%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index
gained 0.2%, and the CSI 300 Index
picked up 0.5%.
European stocks were declining, with the Stoxx Europe 600
Meanwhile, gold prices
were off 0.3% after booking its highest finish in six years on Tuesday.
The U.S. dollar
advanced 0.2%, as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index, while U.S. oil prices
edged lower, off 0.5%.