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Stock futures are on hold ahead of October jobs report

Stock futures are on hold ahead of October jobs report

04 Nov 2021

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

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 24 points. S&P 500 futures were little changed and Nasdaq 100 futures were near the flatline.

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 said Thursday.

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.

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%.