U.S. stock futures trade steady, job openings data in focus

  • Investing.com
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U.S. stock futures trade steady, job openings data in focus
Credit: © Reuters.

Investing.com -- U.S. stock futures widely held around the flatline on Tuesday following a mixed session for the major benchmark averages, as investors braced for key employment data set for release throughout the week.

At 06:42 ET (10:42 GMT), the Dow futures contract had added 35 points or 0.1%, S&P 500 futures rose by 6 points or 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 20 points or 0.1%.

On Monday, the 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.2%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite increased by 0.7% and the benchmark S&P 500 edged only marginally higher. All three ended September and the third quarter lower.

Pressuring equities was the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield , which jumped to its highest level since 2007 after data showed that American factory activity contracted by its smallest amount in about a year. Yields typically increase as prices fall.

The numbers pointed to resilience in the world's largest economy, supporting some predictions that the Federal Reserve could choose to keep interest rates higher for a longer period of time. A hawkish stance from the Fed last week has persuaded many investors to recalibrate their rate expectations, with futures markets now betting that borrowing costs will stand at 4.7% by the end of next year -- implying fewer cuts than previously anticipated from the current range of 5.25% to 5.50%.

JOLTS ahead

On the economic data calendar, investors will be keeping an eye on fresh job openings data for August. The so-called JOLTS report is expected to show that job vacancies dropped to 8.8 million during the month.

The figure slipped to its lowest mark in almost 2-1/2 years in the prior month, hinting at a gradual slowing in the labor market that helped bolster the argument for the Fed to leave interest rates unchanged at its September meeting.

Later in the week, the labor market picture will be further fleshed out by the ADP nonfarm employment report and crucial nonfarm payrolls .

Oil slips after touching three-week low

Oil prices inched down on Tuesday after dropping to a three-week low in the prior session, with traders partly concerned over how elevated interest rates may impact crude demand.

By 06:42 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.5% lower at $88.37 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell by 0.6% to $90.17.

The U.S. manufacturing data on Monday fueled projections that the Fed may choose to keep rates higher for longer, pushing the U.S. dollar up against a basket of other currencies. The prospect of both higher borrowing costs and a stronger U.S. dollar could make oil more expensive for buyers holding other currencies, potentially hitting demand.

Further weighing on prices was an announcement from Turkey's energy minister that the country would restart operations on a pipeline from Iraq this week that had been suspended for nearly half a year. This somewhat muddled the outlook for supply, which has been recently driven by a decision by Saudi Arabia and Russia to extend production cuts until the end of 2023.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this report.)

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