Stock futures fell slightly on Friday as investors looked to the November jobs report for insight into the health of the economy.
Futures related to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 46 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures fell 0.2%, while Nasdaq-100 futures fell 0.3%.
Investors focus on the Labor Department’s report on non-farm payrolls, the unemployment rate and hourly wages, at 8:30 a.m. Economists expect the economy to add 200,000 jobs in November, according to Dow Jones, which will be a smaller gain. compared to 261,000 seen in October.
Friday’s report is the final monthly employment report before the Fed’s two-day meeting on Dec. 13-14, at which the central bank is expected to raise the federal funds target rate by half a percentage point. An increase of 50 basis points would indicate a slowdown from the previous 75 basis point rate hike set by the central bank. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell appeared Confirms slowing price hikes on the horizon in a speech on Wednesday, indicating that the decline could begin as early as this month.
“Given the data we’ve seen since the last meeting, I feel like it would take something really shocking for the Fed to change course now,” said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Oanda.
Traders cut their exposure to the Dow on Thursday ahead of the jobs data. The index closed down by about 195 points after ending Wednesday’s session up by more than 700 points following Powell’s remarks. The S&P 500 was down 0.09% on Thursday, while the heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 0.13%.
Thursday’s moves came on the heels of a mixed batch of economic data, including a Basic personal consumption expenditure report It was slightly better than expected on a monthly basis and a larger than expected decline in the ISM Manufacturing Index. The so-called PCE deflator is one of the Fed’s favorite measures of inflation.
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