Stock futures stable ahead of key inflation data and the kickoff of earnings season
U.S equity futures were steady, as investors looked ahead to key inflation data and the start of first-quarter earnings season.
Futures tied to the broad market S&P 500 were down 0.1% near 8:00 a.m. London time, and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures edged up 11 points, or 0.03%. Nasdaq 100 futures shed 0.44%.
On Thursday, the major averages rose to end a holiday-shortened trading week. However, only the Dow notched a weekly gain of 0.6% while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite posted weekly losses, ending lower by 0.1% and 1.1%, respectively.
The market was volatile as economic data showed signs of a weakening labor market. The March jobs report on Friday showed a resilient economy and moderate inflation, however, which pushed stock futures and Treasury yields higher. The New York Stock Exchange was closed for Good Friday.
Nonfarm payrolls grew by 236,000 for the month, about in line with the Dow Jones estimate of 238,000, the Labor Department reported. The unemployment fell to 3.5%, against expectations that it would hold from the previous month at 3.6%.
The data is consistent with expectations of a slow-moving recession unfolding in the U.S. – one that doesn’t point to the immediate resolution of inflation concerns, according to Jason Pride, chief investment officer of Private Wealth at Glenmede.
“As such, the odds of another quarter-point rate hike in May should go higher as the data does not appear to justify a Fed pause,” he added.
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