Dow Futures Down 20 Pts; June Jobs Report in Spotlight

11:36 08 July in Latest News

U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally lower Friday, with investors cautious ahead of the release of a key monthly jobs report which could guide future Federal Reserve policy.

At 07:00 AM ET (1100 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 20 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 Futures traded 10 points, or 0.3% lower, and Nasdaq 100 Futures declined 65 points, or 0.5%.

The major Wall Street indices closed with significant gains Thursday, rallying on hopes that falls in the prices of major commodities like crude oil and copper pointed to inflationary trends already peaking.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed almost 350 points, or 1.1%, higher, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 2.3%, and the broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.5%, its fourth consecutive positive day, matching the longest winning streak of the year so far.

Yet, despite the recent gains, recession fears remain strong with the Federal Reserve signaling in the minutes of its June policy meeting earlier this week that it was prepared to raise rates another 50-75 basis points at its meeting later this month in a bid to tame inflation.

Ahead of this comes the June jobs report, at 08:30 AM ET (1230 GMT), which is expected to show that the economy added 268,000 positions during the month, a slowing down from the 390,000 jobs created in May.

The unemployment rate is seen staying at 3.6%, while average hourly earnings, a gauge of inflationary pressures, are expected to grow 0.3% month over month, unchanged from May.

In the corporate sector, Levi Strauss (NYSE:LEVI) stock traded higher premarket after the jeans retailer posted strong second-quarter results, lifting its quarterly dividend as people stuck to the comfortable styles that had dominated during lockdown.

GameStop (NYSE:GME) stock slumped premarket after the troubled video-game retailer fired CFO Michael Recupero and laid off some employees as part of a turnaround plan.

Additionally, Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) postponed a shareholder vote scheduled for later Friday on its $2.4 billion sale to Frontier Group (NASDAQ:ULCC) so its board can continue discussions with both Frontier and JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU).

Oil prices edged lower Friday and remained on course for a second straight weekly loss as recession fears, and the associated demand destruction, continued to weigh.

U.S. crude inventories hit two-month highs last week, according to Thursday’s data from the Energy Information Administration, with stockpiles at just over 8 million barrels.

By 07:00 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.3% lower at $102.38 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.2% to $104.44. Both benchmarks fell to near three-month lows on Wednesday, while Brent’s $10.73 drop on Tuesday was the third biggest for the contract since it started trading in 1988.

Additionally, gold futures traded largely flat at $1,740.00/oz, while EUR/USD fell 0.2% to 1.0144.

( Source : )