U.S. stock futures traded lower Thursday as investors were cautious ahead of key jobs data on Friday that could determine the next move for interest rates. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 85 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures fell 0.2%. Weekly initial jobless claims came in at 207,000 for the week ending Sept. 30, up just 2,000 from the prior week’s numbers. Economists had forecasted 210,000, according to a Dow Jones consensus estimate. While the slight increase in jobless claims was about in-line with the Street, it disappointed some investors hoping the weekly data would start to signal a labor market breakdown and end the run in rates that’s hurting stocks. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked higher after the jobless claims report. It was last yielding at 4.762%. On Friday, economists polled by Dow Jones believe non-farm payrolls for September will show a 170,000 increase, that would be down from a 187,000 jobs gain in August. While investors aren’t hoping for a recession, they are wishing for some labor market weakness that would cause the Federal Reserve to rethink raising rates again and halt the run in Treasury yields to 16-year highs. Stocks got a slight boost on Thursday after payroll processing firm ADP said that private job growth totaled 89,000 for September. That number came in well below the 160,000 estimate from Dow Jones, and it seemed to assure investors that the labor market is loosening. Shares of Clorox slid 3.3% in the premarket Thursday, following guidance from the company for its fiscal first quarter that was much lower than consensus. Energy companies continued their downturn as crude prices continued to fall. Chevron and ExxonMobil both pulled back 1%. Long-duration Treasury yields rose again on Thursday as investors awaited a key jobs report to gauge the path of monetary policy. The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed 3 basis points to 4.759%. It had risen as high as 4.884% on Wednesday, hitting a 16-year high. The yield on the 30-year Treasury was 7 basis points higher at 4.923%. Asia-Pacific markets rise after U.S. Treasury yields eased from 16-year highs following much weaker-than-expected jobs data. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 traded 1.8% higher to close at 31,075.36, and the Topix gained 2.02% to end at 2,263.76. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.09% to end at 2,403.6, while the Kosdaq slipped 0.79% to 801.02 after the country’s consumer price index for September came in 3.7% higher compared to a year ago, and higher than Reuters’ forecast of a 3.4% rise. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 traded 0.51% higher to end at 6,925.5. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is trading 0.33% higher. China’s markets remain closed for the weeklong holiday. Oil prices fell on Thursday after the previous session’s big losses, as an uncertain demand outlook held off any boost from an OPEC+ panel maintaining oil output cuts to keep a tight supply. Brent crude oil futures fell by $1.07, or 1.3%, to $84.74 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude also dipped $1.18, or 1.4%, to $83.06. Oil settled down more than $5 on Wednesday as a bleaker macroeconomic outlook and fuel demand destruction came into focus following a meeting of an OPEC+ panel, grouping the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia. Gold was steady on Thursday, but could end an eight-session losing streak, last seen in 2016, as U.S. bond yields and the dollar retreated from recent highs ahead of a keenly awaited non-farm payrolls report this week. Spot gold was steady at $1,822.10 per ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.1% to $1,837.30.
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