US stock index futures were flat during Thursday’s overnight trading as Wall Street awaits Friday’s key job report for September.
Futures contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 41 points. S&P 500 futures gained 0.08% while Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.1%.
Shares rose during Thursday’s regular trading as Washington reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling through December. The Dow gained about 340 points, or 0.98%, for its third consecutive positive session. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also advanced a third day, gaining 0.83% and 1.05%, respectively. The three big averages are well on their way to ending the week in the green.
All eyes are on Friday’s labor market report, which will be crucial as the Federal Reserve prepares to slow down its $ 120 billion monthly bond purchase program. Economists estimate that the economy created 500,000 jobs in September, according to Dow Jones estimates. Only 235,000 jobs were added in August, well below the consensus estimate of 720,000.
The Labor Department said Thursday that unemployment claims totaled 326,000 for the previous week. That was less than the 345,000 economists asked for. In contrast, existing receivables fell by 97,000 to 2.71 million.
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“The final appetizer for Friday’s non-farm payroll report was a positive weekly jobless claims report,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. “As the US continues to get the delta variant spread under control, the labor market recovery should continue to improve.”
Uncertainty about the debt ceiling has been a headwind for the market, but other risks remain, including accelerating inflation and rising interest rates. The yield on 10-year US Treasuries was around 1.57% on Thursday, UBS expects an increase to 1.8% by the end of the year.
“A steadily improving US job market and solid US economic growth should give the Federal Reserve the green light to curb its quantitative easing (QE) program,” the company wrote in a statement to customers.
Wall Street is also preparing for the third quarter reporting season, which begins next week. JPMorgan, BlackRock and Delta report on Wednesday while the other major banks report later in the week.
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