US stock futures were barely changed in early morning trading on Friday ahead of the May job report expected later that day.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were only down 15 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were both largely unchanged.
Investors have been waiting for the Labor Department’s May non-farm payroll report to be released Friday morning, with stocks holding near record highs.
Economists estimate the report will add 671,000 new jobs in May, according to economists polled by Dow Jones. The economy created 266,000 jobs in April.
“While labor supply is definitely an issue relative to high job vacancies, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an upward trend compared to expectations, just as the April number fell so badly,” said Peter, Chief Investment Officer of the Bleakley Advisory Group Boockvar told CNBC. “The wage component will also be decisive, as we hear almost every day that companies have to pay their workers. Now we can see to what extent.”
The “May job data will be a key factor in determining the course of Fed policy in the coming months,” said Citigroup economists. They forecast 760,000 jobs in May and said a repeat of April’s weak report could mean the Federal Reserve will not cut back its bond purchases until next year.
Major averages closed lower Thursday as gains in economic comeback games were offset by declines in technology stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 23 points after falling 265 points. The S&P 500 lost nearly 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer, losing more than 1% as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet all fell.
Private employment growth in May lifted sentiment over the economic reopening, the fastest increase in nearly a year, when companies hired nearly a million workers, according to the ADP. The total new hire was 978,000 for the month, a huge jump from 654,000 in April and the largest increase since June 2020. Economists polled by Dow Jones had searched for 680,000.
The latest unemployment figures published on Thursday were also better than expected. Initial jobless claims for the week ending May 29 were 385,000, compared to the Dow Jones estimate of 393,000. It was also the first time jobless claims fell below 400,000 since the early days of the pandemic.
Meme stocks continued their frantic volatility on Thursday, particularly AMC Entertainment. The cinema operator announced Thursday morning that it would sell 11.5 million shares, only to announce a few hours later that it had already completed its share offering and raised $ 587.4 million in additional capital.
AMC closed almost 18%. Other meme stocks like Blackberry also experienced volatility on Thursday.
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– with reports from CNBC’s Patti Domm.