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Wall Street’s main indexes were set for a lower open on Friday after stronger-than-expected jobs data added to expectations of another big rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve later this month.

The Labor Department’s report showed nonfarm payrolls rose by 372,000 jobs last month, much higher than the estimated rise of 268,000 jobs, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

The report also showed jobless rate remained near pre-pandemic lows at 3.6% and average hourly earnings rose 0.3%, as expected, after gaining 0.4% in May.

“Certainly, it solidifies the view that there’s going to be a 75-basis-point increase in the next two weeks,” said Tom Plumb, portfolio manager of the Plumb Balanced Fund.

“We are still where bad news is good news and good news is bad news … that’s going to be the case until there’s some perception that the Fed has accomplished or is accomplishing their goal of moderating the growth of the economy.”

Traders’ bets of the Fed hiking rates by 75 basis points rose to 97.7% versus 91.5% before the release of the data, according to CME Group’s Fedwatch tool.

U.S. stock markets started the month on a solid footing after a brutal first half of the year as investors found relief from the Fed hinting at a more tempered program of rate hikes.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq recorded their fourth successive higher close on Thursday.

Fed Governor Christopher Waller and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Thursday they would support another 75-basis-point rate increase later this month, but a downshift to a slower pace afterward.

At 09:01 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 48 points, or 0.15%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 19 points, or 0.49%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 118.75 points, or 0.98%.

Levi Strauss rose 4.1% in premarket trade after the company’s second-quarter results beat estimates, helped by strong demand for its denim jeans and jackets.

Twitter Inc fell 4.1% after a report said Elon Musk’s deal to buy the social media company is in “serious jeopardy”.

GameStop Corp tumbled 5.3% after the video game retailer said it had terminated the employment of Chief Financial Officer Michael Recupero.

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SHAH NAWAZ Jul 08, 2022 08:34pm
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