Stock futures fell slightly on Friday as investors looked to the November jobs report for insight into the health of the economy.
Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 46 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures lost 0.2%, while Nasdaq-100 futures fell 0.3%.
Investors focused on the Labor Department’s report on nonfarm payrolls, the unemployment rate and hourly wages, due at 8:30 a.m. Economists expect the economy to have added 200,000 jobs in November, a small gain, according to Dow Jones. compared to 261,000 seen in October.
Friday is the final monthly employment report, ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting on December 13 and 14, in which the central bank is expected to raise its fed funds target rate by half a percentage point. The 50 basis point increase would represent a drop from the previous 75 basis point rate hike set by the central bank.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell appeared Confirm the speed rise on the horizon In a Wednesday speech, he indicated that a pullback could begin as early as this month. Following his comments, the Dow rose more than 700 points and stocks rallied.
“Given the data we’ve seen since the last meeting, I think it would take something really shocking for the central bank to reverse course now,” said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Oanda.
On Thursday, the Dow closed down nearly 195 points as traders sought to reduce exposure ahead of the jobs data. The S&P 500 fell 0.09% on Thursday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 0.13%.
Thursday’s moves followed a mix of economic data Major Personal Consumption Expenditure Report This was slightly better than expected on a monthly basis and a larger than expected decline in the ISM manufacturing index. The so-called PCE deflator is one of the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measures.