Markets

Futures down ahead of labor report

U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a modestly lower open, but that could change in either direction following the September non-farm payrolls release at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Economists are looking for 60,000 jobs to be added in the federal Employment Situation Report, with 100,000 coming from the private sector and the government showing net layoffs. Optimism has been rising in the last week as other data suggests that the U.S. economy could avert a recession.

European markets are little-changed in anticipation of the labor numbers, with no major index moving by more than half a percentage point. Asia was more active, showing gains of 1 percent to 3 percent following yesterday's strong U.S. session.

Currency markets are also signaling a return to riskier assets, with most of the growth-related denominations gaining. The Australian dollar, the euro, and the Canadian dollar are higher against the U.S. dollar, while the Japanese yen is modestly lower.

Copper is up more than 1 percent, continuing its recent strength. Oil and most agricultural commodities are down, while gold is slightly positive.

In stock-specific news, Illumina is indicated to fall about 30 percent after forecasting a weak third quarter. IDT is down on a weak earnings report, and ServiceSource International issued bullish guidance.

Given that the jobs report is the main news, trading activity may slow as today's session progresses. That is especially true because Monday is recognized as Columbus Day in New York, resulting in a three-day weekend for some market participants.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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