U.S. Stock Futures Pause Ahead of Jobs Data
By Anna Hirtenstein
U.S. stock futures wavered Friday ahead of fresh jobs data that
is expected to show a strong recovery in the labor market following
last year's downturn.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked up less than 0.1%, a day
after the broad-market index closed near its all-time high.
Nasdaq-100 futures edged 0.2% higher, suggesting muted gains in
technology stocks. Futures linked to the Dow Jones Industrial
Average held steady after the blue-chips index notched a closing
Stocks are poised for a second week of muted gains, with
sentiment bolstered by signs of a strengthening economy and Federal
Reserve officials reiterated pledges to refrain from tightening
monetary policy until the labor market is recovered. Energy
producers, banks and other firms that would benefit from the
economy reopening have rallied this week, while technology firms
have been among the poorest performers.
"This week was really still a combination of the post-Covid
recovery and how interest-rate policy will respond," said Kiran
Ganesh, a multiasset strategist at UBS Global Wealth Management.
"The performance of some cyclical stocks and commodities suggests
that this reopening trade is still on track."
Data to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET is likely to show that
employers added jobs at a robust pace for the second straight month
in April, signaling a speedy economic recovery. Economists expect
payrolls grew by one million in April after rising by 916,000 in
March. They project the unemployment rate fell to 5.8%, down from
6% in March and a record-high 14.8% last April when the pandemic
Investors are "trying to gauge the extent to which policy makers
are going to keep monetary stimulus in place and whether we're
tipping over into the stage where good economic data starts to be a
problem for financial markets because it brings forward the time
the central banks start very tentatively tightening policy," said
Sebastian Mackay, a multiasset fund manager at Invesco. "I think
we're getting there."
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 1.565%, from
1.561% on Thursday, steadying after five consecutive days of
Earnings season continues, with self-driving truck company
Nikola among those reporting Friday.
"We're still in a cyclical upswing, which should drive equities
higher on average," Mr. Mackay said. "On average, most of the
earnings numbers have been at or above expectations. It is about
delivery of those expectations of earnings needed to sustain
In commodities, copper prices surpassed their 2011 highs and
were on course to close at a record, fueled by bets on the global
economic rebound and on rising demand from efforts to decarbonize
the power and transportation sectors. Three-month copper forwards
rose 1.2% to $10,232 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. In
New York, copper futures on CME Group's Comex rose 1.2% to $4.66 a
Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 0.4%.
Among European equities, Adidas jumped over 7% after reporting
quarterly revenue that beat analysts' expectations.
The Shanghai Composite Index pulled back 0.7% by the close of
trading, and Japan's Nikkei 225 advanced 0.1%.
Write to Anna Hirtenstein at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 07, 2021 05:16 ET (09:16 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.