Stocks Edge Higher as Friday’s Jobs Report Looms
Stocks pushed higher on Thursday, as investors wait for a pivotal jobs report on Friday, and initial jobless claims beat expectations.
“With jobless claims hitting a pandemic low, there’s definitely some optimism as we look ahead to the full jobs picture tomorrow,” writes Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at ETrade.
Investors have their eyes on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Friday jobs report. Economists are expecting the U.S. to have added 720,000 jobs during August. A number stronger than that would indicate a strengthening economy as fears of the damage of the Covid-19 Delta variant’s spread subside. But a result too far above expectations could prompt concerns that the Federal Reserve will reduce economic support rather quickly.
Meanwhile, initial jobless claims beat expectations, coming in at 340,000, a pandemic low and better than estimates of 345,000 claims.
On Wednesday, weak numbers from payroll provider ADP’s report and the ISM’s measure of factory jobs underscored the room the U.S. economy still has to grow in terms of employment.
“Tapering nerves receded further overnight after a very soft ADP Employment number and the ISM Manufacturing PMI employment sub-index contracted,” said Jeffrey Halley, an analyst at broker OANDA. “That has taken the heat out of expectations for this Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls data and further reinforced Fed Chairman Powell’s cautious approach in the markets’ minds.”
In Asia, Tokyo’s
climbed 0.3% while the
Hong Kong Hang Seng Index
lifted 0.2%. The
pushed 0.8% higher.
Asian stocks were boosted by a move from the People’s Bank of China to provide RMB 300 billion ($46.4 billion) of low-cost funds to banks for the purpose of lending to small and medium-sized companies.
“Besides this the PBoC has also announced other measures such as interest subsidies to firms hit hard by the pandemic and a bigger role for local special bonds in driving investment. This has helped Chinese stock markets to outperform overnight,” said Jim Reid, a strategist at Deutsche Bank.
China’s crackdown on technology companies continued. The Ministry of Transport summoned ride-hailing firms including
(HK: 3690), and
‘s ((BA)(BA)) AMAP with an order to fix issues across data security, competition, and labor practices by the end of the year.
(CHWY) fell 7.5% after reporting a loss of 4 cents a share, worse than estimates of a loss of 1 cent a share, on sales of $2.16 billion, below expectations for $2.17 billion.
(OKTA) stock rose 2.3% after reporting a loss of 11 cents a share, better than estimates for a loss 35 cents a share, on sales of $315 million, above expectations for $295 million.
(FIVE) stock fell 10.2% after reporting a profit of $1.15 a share, beating estimates of $1.11, on sales of $646 million, which were below expectations of $658 million.
(CHPT) stock gained 8.3% after reporting a loss of 29 cents a share, worse than estimates of a loss of 13 cents a share, on sales of $56 million, above expectations for $49 million.
Write to Jacob Sonenshine at [email protected]