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Futures hold steady ahead of September jobs data By Reuters

© Reuters. A specialist trader works inside a booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Devik Jain

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were largely flat on Friday ahead of September jobs data that is likely to set off the Federal Reserve’s withdrawal of its policy support later this year.

Wall Street rallied on Thursday, led by mega-cap technology stocks as the U.S. Senate approved legislation to temporarily raise the federal government’s $28.4 trillion debt limit, averting the risk of a historic default this month.

Uncertainty over the debt ceiling negotiations and a run-up in U.S. Treasury yields over elevated inflation were major concerns among investors, injecting volatility in equity markets this week.

Still, better-than-expected private jobs data and weekly jobless claims report reinforced positive views about an economic recovery, setting the three major U.S. indexes for weekly gains.

The Labor Department’s closely watched nonfarm payrolls report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, will show hiring surged by 500,000 jobs in September as the summer wave of COVID-19 infections began to subside, positioning the Fed to start scaling back its monthly bond buying.

“All roads lead to non-farm payrolls data which will decide, in the market’s minds, whether the start of the Fed taper is a done deal for December,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

“I do not believe that markets have priced in the Fed taper and its implications to any large degree yet. Even a weak number probably only delays the inevitable for another month.”

High-growth stocks Apple Inc (NASDAQ:), Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:), Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) and Tesla (NASDAQ:) slipped in premarket trading following sharp gains in previous session.

Energy firms including Chevron Corp (NYSE:) and Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:) gained about 0.8% and 0.8% tracking crude prices, while major U.S. lenders also edged up as the benchmark 10-year yield hit its highest level since June 4. [US/][O/R]

At 06:29 a.m. ET, were up 45 points, or 0.13%, were up 3.25 points, or 0.07%, and were down 2.75 points, or 0.02%.

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