Jobs, Unemployment Rate, Services: 3 Things to Watch By

© Reuters.

By Dhirendra Tripathi — The edged higher on Thursday as investors awaited the government’s report on the state of the labor market in August after a disappointing private payrolls number on Wednesday but solid news on new jobless claims.

As a sector, energy gained more than 2%. Crude prices jumped as much after a decline in inventories for last week and an agreement from oil producing nations to continue adding output. In the Gulf, much of U.S. refining and production capacity remained shut after Hurricane Ida.

The tech-heavy and the S&P’s technology index slipped into negative territory, as some of the industry’s largest companies saw their recent upward momentum stall.

U.S. stocks have regularly hit record highs over the past few weeks as a solid corporate earnings season and hopes of continued central bank support underpinned confidence.

Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week.

Despite deadly flash floods in New York City, trading on Wall Street was operating normally.

It’s a quiet Friday for earnings, but who cares about that when all anyone is interested in are jobs numbers?

Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:

1. Jobs, jobs, more jobs

Hiring is likely to have slowed down considerably in August after growing at its fastest pace in nearly a year in July. jobs are likely to have added 750,000 positions compared to July’s 943,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the data Friday at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT).

2. The unemployment rate

In the process, is likely to have dropped to 5.2% from 5.4% in July, according to analysts tracked by

3. Services sector activity

activity or services is likely to have expanded by 62.8 in August compared to 67 in July. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion. That report comes out at 10:00 AM ET.

Reuters contributed to this report


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