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Dow futures down 55 pts; caution ahead of payrolls

Stock Markets Dec 02, 2022 06:56AM ET
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By Peter Nurse    

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening slightly lower Friday, ending a generally positive week in a cautious mood ahead of the release of the key monthly U.S. employment report.

At 07:00 ET (12:00 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 55 points, or 0.2%, S&P 500 Futures traded 3 points, or 0.1%, lower and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 16 points, or 0.1%.

The major averages have headed higher this week, boosted by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signaling a smaller half-percentage point interest rate hike at the U.S. central bank’s last meeting this year, later this month.

The U.S. central bank has hiked interest rates by 75 basis points in each of its last four policy-setting meetings in an attempt to curb soaring inflation. 

But the November CPI release pointed to inflation having peaked and Thursday’s core personal consumption expenditures report, the Fed’s favorite gauge of inflation, declined more than expected on a monthly basis.

Attention now turns to the labor market, with the U.S. economy expected to have added 200,000 jobs last month, below the 261,000 seen in October. A loosening in the labor market would be a good sign to the Fed that its tightening actions to date are starting to have an effect.

Also of interest will be comments by Chicago Fed President Charles Evans before the central bank officials go into their quiet period that precedes a policy-setting meeting. 

In the corporate sector, quarterly earnings are due from restaurant chain Cracker Barrel (NASDAQ:CBRL), while tech companies Asana (NYSE:ASAN), Zscaler (NASDAQ:ZS) and Marvell (NASDAQ:MRVL) Technology are all seen trading sharply lower premarket after reporting disappointing numbers post Thursday's close.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) will also be in focus after the electric vehicle company delivered its first heavy-duty Semi on Thursday to PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) without offering updated forecasts for the truck's pricing or production plans.

Crude oil prices stabilized Friday, but are set to post a weekly advance on hopes China is set to further relax its COVID restrictions, boosting economic activity and thus demand for energy at the biggest crude importer in the world.

Elsewhere, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, meets virtually on Sunday to decide future production levels, while European Union governments are still discussing the level at which to cap the price on Russian seaborne oil.

Baker Hughes is set to deliver its U.S. oil rig count later in session, as usual, along with weekly CFTC crude positioning data. 

By 07:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% higher at $81.28 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.1% to $86.89. 

Both benchmarks were on track for their first weekly gains after three consecutive weeks of decline.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,812.35/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.0531.

Dow futures down 55 pts; caution ahead of payrolls
 

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Stephen Fa
Stephen Fa Dec 02, 2022 8:33AM ET
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Hot, inflation sustaining NFP numbers are still real!
 
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