Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures extend gains after August jobs data seen keeping Fed rates on hold


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U.S. stock index futures extended gains Friday after August jobs data reassured investors that the Federal Reserve won’t take interest rates much higher.

The data comes ahead of a three-day weekend, with U.S. markets closed Monday for Labor Day.

What’s happening

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
    rose 139 points, or 0.4%, to 34,930.

  • S&P 500 futures
    gained 24.25 points, or 0.5%, to 4,540.25.

  • Nasdaq-100 futures
    advanced 87.25 points, or 0.6%, to 15,625.75.

The S&P 500
fell 1.8% in August, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP shed 2.2%, the first monthly decline for both indexes since February. The Dow
fell 2.4% after back-to-back monthly gains.

What’s driving the market

The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 187,000 jobs in August, topping economist expectations for a gain of 170,000 but still affirming a slowdown in the pace of job gains that’s likely to be welcomed by the Federal Reserve. The unemployment rate jumped to 3.8% from 3.5% in July.

“Today’s data wasn’t a blowout number, and this means things are more likely to remain on track when it comes to the Fed,” said Naeem Aslam, chief investment officer at Zaye Capital Markets. “Basically, the data has confirmed once again that a softening of the job market is very much in play while the overall picture for the labor market is still strong.”

“So, most traders believe that the Fed is more likely to stay on the sidelines, but at the same time, inflation pressure remains intact,” he said.

MarketWatch Live: Coverage of the August jobs report and the market reaction

There’s also the Institute for Supply Management’s August manufacturing sector activity index, as well as monthly auto sales, that will be released later Friday. Thursday’s after hours releases saw mixed responses, with Dell Technologies Inc.
stock rallying but Broadcom Inc. shares
wilting after results.

In China, August Caixin manufacturing PMI came in above expectations, rising to 51, a level that indicates improving conditions, as the country also lowered down-payment requirements on homes. The Hong Kong market was shut as Typhoon Saola was expected to make landfall on Friday.

Companies in focus

  • Dell Technologies Inc. stock was sharply higher in premarket trade after the technology giant posted sizable beats on profit and revenue. 

  • Broadcom Inc. shares slipped after the chip and software company delivered a revenue forecast for the current quarter that failed to offer upside versus the consensus view.

  • Lululemon Athletica
    reported same-stores sales that missed expectations, but the yoga-themed apparel maker bumped its full-year forecast higher. Shares were up nearly 3%.

  • Tesla Inc. stock
    slipped 0.7% after the EV maker announced fresh price cuts for its Model S and Model X cars in China, two weeks after having lowered prices on those premium vehicles.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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