Stock futures steady ahead of jobs report

How to invest in the market amid decline in big tech growth, April jobs report

TJM Institutional Services director Jim Iuorio and The Fitz-Gerald Group principal Keith Fitz-Gerald on their outlooks for the market. ADP chief economist Nela Richardson discusses the April jobs report.

U.S. equity futures were trading cautiously ahead of the biggest economic report of the month – the April employment report.

The major futures indexes suggested a small rise when the final trading session of the week gets underway on Wall Street.

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The Labor Department was expected to say the U.S. economy added 978,000 new nonfarm jobs last month. That would be the fourth straight month of gains and the highest since August.

It would top the much stronger-than-expected increase of 916,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate is also anticipated to decline for a fourth month to 5.8%, the lowest since March 2020.

APRIL TO BRING BIG JOB GAINS IF EMPLOYERS FOUND ENOUGH WORKERS

This week's better-than-expected report on jobless claims and rising private sector hiring was adding to optimism about a jobs recovery.

And most economists were expecting outsize job growth to continue in the coming months as vaccinations are widely administered and trillions in government aid spreads through the economy. 

JOBLESS CLAIMS DROP TO NEW PANDEMIC LOW AS US ECONOMIC RECOVERY GAINS STEAM

In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 recouped early losses to edge up less than 0.1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gyrated much of the day and slipped 0.3% and China's Shanghai Composite edged 0.7% lower.

China reported its trade with the United States and the rest of the world surged by double digits in April as consumer demand recovered, but growth appeared to be slowing. 

A choppy day of trading on Wall Street ended Thursday with stocks broadly higher and another all-time high for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. 

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES34548.53+318.19+0.93%
SP500S&P 5004201.62+34.03+0.82%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX13632.841845+50.42+0.37%

Banks and technology companies led a late-afternoon turnaround that pushed the S&P 500 to a 0.8% gain.

The S&P 500 closed at 4,201.62. The index is on track for its eighth weekly gain in the past 10 weeks. The Dow rose 0.9% to 34,548.19. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.4%, to 13,632.84. 

Moderna shares lost 1.4% after the company reported its first-ever quarterly profit, helped by the company’s coronavirus vaccine. 

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In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 17 cents to $64.89 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 19 cents to $68.28 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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