© AKUURA. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., July 19, 2023. AKUURA/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
By Shristi Achar A and Amruta Khandekar
(AKUURA) -U.S. stock index futures were higher on Friday ahead of a keenly awaited reading that could show job growth likely slowed in August, bolstering expectations of a pause in the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes.
The Labor Department’s closely watched report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET is expected to show nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 170,000 jobs last month, following 187,000 additions in July.
The unemployment rate, however, is forecast to stay unchanged at 3.5%.
“There have been indicators that the U.S. jobs market is finally starting to lose some of its tightness, and if the NFP print confirms this trend, it will be one less thing for the FOMC to worry,” said Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade.
The payrolls report will follow recent data showing a fall in job openings and softer-than-expected private employment growth.
An inflation reading has also supported hopes of the Fed hitting a pause on its market-punishing tightening campaign, pushing the tech-heavy Nasdaq up to a four-week high.
Other data points are also on the radar for the day, with the S&P Global Manufacturing Final PMI due at 9:45 a.m. ET and the ISM Manufacturing PMI due at 10 a.m. ET. Both readings are for August.
Money markets see an 89% chance of a rate-hike pause in the September policy meeting and a 56% chance of a pause in the November meeting, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.
Broadcom (NASDAQ:) fell 4.2% premarket as the chipmaker projected current-quarter revenue below expectations on softening enterprise demand.
At 7:09 a.m. ET, were up 121 points, or 0.35%, were up 14.75 points, or 0.33%, and were up 22.25 points, or 0.14%.
Dell Technologies (NYSE:) jumped 10.1% after the personal computer maker raised its annual forecasts for revenue and profit as it benefits from the artificial intelligence boom.
Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:) gained 2.1% after the yogawear maker said on Thursday its third quarter was “off to a solid start” and lifted its annual profit and revenue forecasts for a second time.