Friday October 4th


Stock set to rise slightly after steady jobs report, Dow still on track for losing week

U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday, erasing an earlier decline after the release of the latest U.S. jobs report. Around 8:30 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of about 53 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures traded slightly higher as well. The U.S. economy added 136,000 jobs in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected an increase of 145,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, a 50-year low, but wages grew ta a slower-than-expected pace last month. Treasury yields briefly jumped before giving back those gains. The 10-year yield last traded at 1.53% after hitting 1.55%. “This sounds like a Goldilocks number to me,” Steve Grasso, director of institutional sales at Stuart Frankel, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “It still gives the Fed some room for cover to cut rates. This is as close to a not-too-hot, not-too-cold greeting for the market.” The Federal Reserve is largely expected to cut rates later this month. Expectations for a 25 basis-point rate cut were at 79% on Friday, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool. Rate-cut expectations surged on Thursday following the release of disappointing data on the U.S. services sector. The increasing hope of lower Fed rates led to a sharp rebound on Wall Street as the Dow recovered from a 335-point deficit to close higher. Wall Street will be watching speeches by Fed officials later in the day, including Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren. Stocks came into Friday’s session on pace to record large losses for the week. The Dow was down 2.3% through Thursday’s close while the S&P 500 had lost 1.7%. The Nasdaq was down 0.9% week to date. Those weekly losses came after a dismal U.S. manufacturing data report sparked fears of a potential recession in the U.S. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, the Dow lost more than 800 points. Hong Kong stocks fell on Friday after the city’s leader Carrie Lam announced a ban on face masks, effective October 5, amid more than four months of pro-democracy, anti-government protests. The Hang Seng index dropped 1.11% to close at 25,821.03. Elsewhere in Asia, stock moves in other major markets were more muted as investors awaited the release of U.S. nonfarm payrolls data for September. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 recovered from an earlier slip to close 0.32% higher at 21,410.20, while the Topix index also made a turnaround to finish its trading day 0.26% higher at 1,572.90. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.55% lower at 2,020.69. Markets in China were closed on Friday for a holiday. Oil prices rose on Friday but were still on track for a second consecutive weekly loss after sliding on fears that slower global economic growth would hurt energy demand. Benchmark Brent crude rose 36 cents, or 0.6%, to $58.07 a barrel by 0839 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 30 cents, or 0.6%, to $52.75. But Brent was down 6.2% on the week while U.S. crude was 5.6%, lower, on the biggest weekly losses since July. Gold prices fell on Friday after the monthly jobs figures in September even though nonfarm payrolls rose by just 136,000 as the economy nears full employment, the Labor Department reported. Spot gold was down 0.25% at $1,501.71 an ounce, having climbed in the previous session to its highest since Sept. 25 at $1,518.50. U.S. gold futures fell 0.46% $1,506.5.