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05 Mar 2021 | 08:43

US pre-open: Futures point to lower start ahead of February non-farm payrolls

(Sharecast News) - Stocks on Wall Street are being called to start lower amid investor jitters over the recent rise in Treasury yields, even as they wait on the latest monthly non-farm payrolls report. As of 1020 GMT, futures for the Dow Jones Industrials were down 83 points to 30,795.0, alongside a 13.75 point dip for the S&P 500 to 3,751.75 while for the Nasdaq-100 they were declining by 70.5 points to 12,384.5.

US technology issues in particular had come under renewed selling pressure the day before, after 'dovish' remarks from the head of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, failed to assuage investors concerns over the near-term outlook for inflation.

"All-in-all, markets are going to have to deal with the fact that yields are going to rise over the course of the year, with stocks put under pressure as a result," said IG senior market analyst Josh Mahony.

"[...] As we close out a week of volatility, we are expecting to see yet another bout of uncertainty hit markets as the US prepares to release their latest jobs report. Coming off the back of two worryingly low payrolls numbers, today provides the opportunity to show that the US economy is moving in the right direction as the recent PMI surveys would have you believe."

In parallel, the yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury note was drifting lower by one basis point to 1.55%.

Front month West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures on the other hand were climbing by 2.02% to $65.12 a barrel on the ICE.

At 1330 GMT, the Department of Labor was expected to announce a 133,000 person increase in the number of new hires, following growth of just 49,000 in January.

The unemployment rate meanwhile was seen ticking higher by one tenth of a percentage point to 6.4%, while the year-on-year rate of increase in average hourly earnings was expected to dip by the same amount to 5.3%.

The jobs release would coincide with a reading on the foreign trade balance for January (consensus: -$67.5bn).
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