Futures Coiled Ahead Of Closely Watched Jobs Report

US stock index futures fluctuated listlessly in a narrow range on Friday as investors braced for a crucial report that is likely to show jobs growth accelerated last month, possibly fanning fears over inflation and easing of the Federal Reserve's support. At 7:30am e-mini were down 11 points, or 0.03%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 3 points, or 0.08%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 22 points, or 0.16%. The meme mania was dormant this morning with Reddit stocks all lower after peaking two days ago. Treasuries were steady and the dollar rose modestly to fresh 3-week highs. Gold dropped and bitcoin slumped after an Elon Musk tweet trolled cryptos.

Shares of so-called "meme-stocks" weakened in early trade, with AMC Entertainment down nearly 10% a day after the Reddit darling completed its second share offering this week. Here are some of the more notable premarket movers:

  • AMC Entertainment (AMC) drops 6% in Friday’s premarket session, falling 6% from the last close, as it sold equity to shore up a depleted balance sheet. Shares of Koss Corp (KOSS), BlackBerry, and GameStop (GME) dropped between 2% and 5%.
  • Cryptocurrency-exposed companies like Coinbase (COIN) and Marathon Digital (MARA) decline Friday after Elon Musk tweets a broken-heart emoji which appeared to hint at a potential split between the Tesla boss and Bitcoin.
  • Other meme stocks like Koss Corp. (KOSS), Express Inc. (EXPR), and BlackBerry (BB) also slide as the meme rally cools.
  • Pershing Square Tontine (PSTH) blank-check company falls 7.2% in premarket trading after confirming talks to buy 10% of Universal Music Group from France’s Vivendi.
  • Senseonics Holdings (SENS) jumps 40% in premarket trading on Friday after saying Promise study demonstrated strong accuracy of 180 Day CGM Sensor.
  • Workhorse (WKHS) slides 7.6% after Cowen downgrades the stock, saying that it now looks fairly valued following the retail trader-driven rally.
  • Facebook Inc (FB) dropped 1.1% after EU antitrust regulators opened an investigation into the world's largest social network's use of advertising data to see whether it breached EU rules

The May jobs report at 8:30 a.m. ET (full preview here) is expected to show nonfarm payrolls increased by 674,000 jobs in May, after an unexpected slowdown in the labor market in April. However, A scheduled appearance by Joe Biden after the report has lifted the whisper number to above 1 million. The release is likely to spur volatility as traders scramble to reassess the case for ongoing policy accommodation: a (much) stronger-than-expected reading could further stoke worries that the robust economic recovery could push the Fed to contemplate paring back its bond-buying and raising interest rates.

"Any major surprise today could go a long way in shaping the narrative around the Fed's normalization timeline," said Marios Hadjikyriacos, investment analyst for XM. "The market reaction will depend on the size of any surprise."

“If the nonfarm payroll numbers were to surprise to the upside, and I’m talking about anything above 700,000, that’s going to keep the pressure on the U.S. fixed income market and definitely very supportive of the dollar,” Eugenia Victorino, head of Asia strategy at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB in Singapore, said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

European equities give back small gains, trading little changed on volumes down 30% vs 20DMA. Spain’s IBEX fares the worst with a 0.7% drop. Banks, utilities and telecoms are the worst-performing sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today:

  • Saipem shares rise as much as 5.3% in Milan, the steepest intraday advance since April 8 and the day’s best performer on the FTSE MIB index. Analysts highlight the acquisition of Naval Energies’ floating wind business, noting deal will boost company’s position in this field.
  • Collector gains as much as 8.3%, the most since April 30, after Chairman Erik Selin purchased 700,000 shares in the Swedish company.
  • Boliden climbs as much as 3.2% after DNB raised the stock to buy from hold, seeing potential from hidden value, according to a note.
  • European airline stocks fall again after Thursday’s news that the U.K. cut Portugal from its “green list“ of travel destinations, and added no new countries to the roster.
  • EasyJet slide as much as 3%, Wizz -3.7%, British Airways/Iberia-parent IAG -2.3%, Ryanair -1.7%, Lufthansa -1.6%
  • ING shares drop as much as 2.3% after Barclays downgraded the stock to underweight, saying “goldilocks is going overboard” as company-compiled consensus has “become overly optimistic.”
  • Fingerprint Cards falls as much as 15%, the most since Feb. 16, after the company said it’s withdrawing its 2Q revenue forecast.

Earlier in the session, Asia stocks slipped, as strong U.S. jobs data stoked inflation concerns, while China shares reversed initial declines after President Joe Biden amended an investment ban list for the country’s companies. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.2% at 5:47 p.m. in Singapore, led lower by shares in the tech-heavy markets of Taiwan and South Korea as worries of higher interest rates affect the sector’s earnings outlook. Data released overnight showed an increase in U.S. private payrolls and record service-sector growth, bringing up the possibility of faster withdrawal of central bank stimulus. Japan’s Topix eked out gains, climbing for a fourth straight day. Meanwhile, China’s CSI 300 Index closed 0.5% higher led by gains in consumer staples and financial stocks. The gain came even as the Biden administration moved to put 59 companies on a list that bans U.S. investment. The docket includes Huawei Technologies Co. and the country’s three biggest telecommunications companies. Asia-based investors are looking ahead to the monthly U.S. payrolls report due Friday for cues on the direction of growth and inflation. The Asian stock gauge is still set for a third straight week of gains, its longest winning streak since February. “Market positioning ahead of the US jobs data showed a preference for derivatives in FX, bond and equity markets as traders hedged their portfolio risks and built leverage bets in anticipation of the data,” Anderson Alves, a trader at brokerage ActivTrades, wrote in a note. Malaysian stocks were the biggest decliners in the region as Covid-19 cases in the country remain elevated. India’s Sensex pared gains as the central bank kept borrowing costs at a record low level and cut its economic growth projection.

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