Stock futures edge up ahead of March jobs report

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Wall Street set to rebound

U.S. stock futures posted modest gains Friday, after the Dow closed the previous day on a negative note as traders awaited monthly jobs data later in the day that could put more pressure on Federal Reserve policymakers to cool the economy.

Futures tied to the Dow advanced 162 points, or 0.47% to 34,780 as of 5:40 a.m. ET. S&P 500 futures jumped 21 points, or 0.46% to 4,551.75 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures rose 73 points, or 0.49% to 14,941.75.

On Thursday, the Dow shed 550 points, or 1.56% to close at 34,678. The S&P 500 dropped 72 points, or 1.57% to finish at 4,530, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 221 points, or 1.54% to end at 14,220.

March jobs report in focus

A report on the state of the U.S. Labor market due out this morning is likely to be the major market moving event of the day.

Economists polled by FactSet expect the U.S. jobs report to show employers added 478,000 jobs in March. That would be lower than the 678,000 jobs added in February.

The rate of unemployment is forecast to slide to 3.7% from 3.8% in February. That would be the lowest jobless rate since the Covid-19 pandemic began two years ago.

The Labor Department will publish the jobs report at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Meanwhile, data released Thursday by the Commerce Department showed U.S. consumer spending rose 0.2% in February, missing economists’ expectations for an increase of 0.5%.

Biden taps strategic oil reserves to counter higher energy prices

In energy markets, crude futures were trading slightly higher early Friday after President Joe Biden announced that he will release 1 million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for six months

Biden made the decision in a bid to lower the cost of gas for American consumers and offset the loss of Russian oil from global markets.

He also called on Congress to impose financial penalties on oil drillers that lease public lands but refuse to produce.

Gas prices have surpassed $4 per gallon in the U.S., after Washington and allies imposed economic sanctions on Russia over its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

As of 5:40 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 66 cents, or 0.66% to $100.94 a barrel. International Brent crude futures were up 95 cents, or 0.91% to $105.66 a barrel.

 

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