Dow set to open lower in turbulent week as Wall Street awaits crucial September jobs report

U.S. stock-index futures on Friday drifted lower ahead of a crucial report on employment that could help to provide the clearest picture yet of the health of a domestic economy that has appeared to be sputtering, with a recent batch of survey data unsettling bullish sentiment.

On top of the employment report, investors await a speech from Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell and data on international trade.

How are benchmarks performing?

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 66 points, or 0.3%, at 26,114, those for the S&P 500 index were off 8.55 points at 2,903.25, a decline of 0.3%, while Nasdaq-100 futures were skidding 23.25 points lower to 7,635.25, a fall of 0.3%.

On Thursday, the Dow DJIA, +0.47% closed up 122.42 points, or 0.47%, at 26,201.04 while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.80% rose 23.02 points, or 0.8% to 2,910.63, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +1.12% rose 87.02 points to 7,872.26, a gain of 1.12%.

For the week, the Dow is on pace for a decline of 2.3% so far, the S&P 500 is set for a drop of 1.7%, the Nasdaq was set for a weekly drop of 0.9%, while the Russell 2000 index RUT, +0.45%, which suffered a bearish “death cross” on Thursday, was on track to shed 2.2%.

What’s driving the stock market?

It is all about the jobs numbers for Wall Street investors after a litany of gloomy economic results that have affirmed a U.S. slowdown is under way to bearish investors.

Economists polled by MarketWatch estimate that the U.S. added 147,000 new jobs last month, a bit higher than the preliminary 130,000 gain in August, with the unemployment rate holding at 3.7%, near a 50-year low, while average hourly earnings are set to come in at 0.2%. Econoday shows consensus

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