Stock futures are muted ahead of October jobs report; Pfizer shares jump

Stock futures are muted ahead of October jobs report; Pfizer shares jump

A specialist trader works 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 rose slightly in morning trading Friday ahead of the highly anticipated October jobs report.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 17 points, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures both hovered above the flatline.

A major development in the fight against the pandemic boosted shares of Pfizer, which rose more than 9% premarket after the company said its Covid-19 drug, used with an HIV drug, cut the risk of hospitalization by 89%.

Investors are awaiting the release of October nonfarm payroll numbers Friday morning. Consensus estimates call for 450,000 jobs added, according to Dow Jones. September’s report tallied 194,000 additional jobs, far short of the 500,000 estimate.

“Tomorrow’s Payrolls numbers become even more significant, as it is the first full month of hiring following the expiration of federal enhanced unemployment benefits, while public health has simultaneously improved and labor demand has remained strong,” Goldman Sachs’ Chris Hussey wrote Thursday.

Peloton shares cratered more than 32% in premarket trading after the fitness platform and maker of interactive treadmills and exercise bikes reported a much larger loss than expected and cut its full-year outlook as fitness buffs headed back to the gym and away from at-home workouts.

The company also cited ongoing supply chain challenges for its “challenged visibility” over the near term that CEO John Foley said is causing the company to lower its expectations.

Recovery stock Expedia saw its shares roar higher by 11.6% premarket a day after the company said renewed travel demand boosted its top and bottom lines higher than analysts had expected.

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

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

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

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

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

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