Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks look set to sink ahead of key Friday jobs report

All three U.S. benchmarks on Friday were poised to fall ahead of a key employment report that could help determine the rate-hike plans for the Federal Reserve.

How are the benchmarks performing?

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMZ8, -0.46% were off 133 points, or 0.5%, at 24,774, while S&P 500 index futures ESZ8, -0.49% were down 13.35 points, or 0.5%, at 2,677.75. Nasdaq-100 futures NQZ8, -0.53% were trading 37 points, or 0.5%, lower at 6,786.

Check out: A death cross for the S&P 500 highlights a stock market in tatters

On Thursday, the Dow DJIA, -0.32%  declined 79.40 points, or 0.3%, to 24,947.67, though the index was down by as many as 785 points at its nadir. The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.15%  dropped 4.11 points, 0.2%, to 2,696.95, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.42%  fell 29.83 points, or 0.4%, to 7,188.26.

For the week, the Dow and S&P 500 are set to show declines of 2.3%, while the Nasdaq has thus far declined 1.9%.

Read: The Dow just slashed a 785-point plunge, marking its most stunning reversal since March

The Thursday afternoon rebound put the Dow and the S&P back into positive territory for 2018, while the Nasdaq built on its gains to rise 4.1% for the year.

What’s driving the market?

Wall Street is awaiting a key employment report due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with the nonfarm-payrolls report for November slated to show that 190,000 jobs were created. A steady unemployment rate at 3.7% is expected, with wage growth for the period rising 0.3%, according to average estimates of economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

The jobs data comes after a frenetic session that had been colored by fears of intensifying trade battles between the U.S. and China after the arrest in Canada of a top

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