Stock futures were steady late Thursday as investors awaited Friday’s jobs report for further clues about the Federal Reserve’s rate hike path and the state of the economy.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were little changed. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also flat.
Economists expect 258,000 jobs were added in July, down from 372,000 in June, according to Dow Jones. Unemployment is expected to remain stable at 3.6%. The jobs report is released at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday.
“Investors will be waiting to see if the labor market can withstand the Fed’s rate hike campaign as well as it did in June,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade .
Job growth is expected to slow as the Fed continues to raise interest rates to tame rising inflation, but it is unclear whether this slowdown will push the economy into an official recession. Many said Friday’s report is crucial as it is one of two the central bank will see before deciding how much to raise rates at its September meeting.
The S&P 500 is up a modest 0.5% for the week, trying to snap a three-week winning streak. The blue-chip Dow is down 0.4% this week, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite is outperforming, up 2.7% on the week.