Dow futures rise 100 points amid better-than-expected jobs data

Traders working at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), on May 19, 2021.

NYSE

Dow futures rose more than 100 points on Thursday as investors digested stronger-than-expected labor-market data.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 127 points. S&P 500 futures were little changed and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 0.3%. Shares of Boeing advanced 2.7% on optimism about an economic recovery.

It looks like gains for the overall market will be capped however, as investors are lightening up on technology shares as they rotate into cyclical stocks. Microsoft, Apple and Amazon were down in the premarket.

Initial jobless claims fell to 406,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday,  a new pandemic low and much less than expected. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones are expecting a total of 425,000 Americans to have filed unemployment benefits in the week ended May 22. In the week prior, jobless claims reached a fresh pandemic-era low of 444,000.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department left its initial estimate on first-quarter gross domestic product unchanged at 6.4%

Snowflake shares tumbled 4% in premarket trading trading after the data-analytics software company reported widening losses. Nvidia‘s stock rose slightly in early trading even after the chip giant’s earnings and sales for the first quarter both beat Wall Street expectations. Its revenue grew 88% compared to last year.

Meme stocks, which have jumped this week amid a resurgence in speculative trading, were lower in premarket trading. GameStop was down by about 4%. AMC Entertainment lost 6%.

Ford was higher again, with the stock up 1% following an upgrade by RBC. The stock jumped 8% on Wednesday after unveiling its electric vehicle strategy.

The move in futures followed a relatively quiet session on Wall Street. The S&P 500 eked out a 0.2% gain in light trading, supported by gains in shares tied to the economic reopening including airlines and cruise line operators. The blue-chip Dow finished Wednesday’s session little changed, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.6%.

Trading is expected to be muted ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

“Equity markets are quiet as investors continue to anticipate the Fed’s next move,” said Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide. “Low volatility and low trading volume are a frequent occurrence in the week leading into a holiday.”

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