Markets Await Jobs Data

Pre-market futures are inching back into the green to start a new week — one that will being the end of August 2023, which is headed for the worst performance on the blue-chip Dow since May (-3.4%) and the worst for the S&P 500 (-4%) since December of last year. The Nasdaq has performed even worse: -5.3% month to date, and the more volatile small-cap Russell 2000 really would welcome the end of this trading month: -7.4%.

Currently, pre-market indices are up anywhere from +0.42% (Dow) to +0.67% (Nasdaq), with the S&P and Russell identical at +0.46%. We’ve survived Fed Chair Jay Powell’s latest assertion that interest rate hikes at the Fed may not be completely over with (the next meeting comes September 19-20). That’s not to say another 25 basis-point (bps) hike is inevitable three weeks from Wednesday, so depending on economic data between now and then, we may be looking more toward a hold at current levels.

Today we do not have any major economic reports scheduled, but this week will be an eventful one: it’s Jobs Week, for one thing — JOLTS data, ADP (ADP) private-sector payrolls, Jobless Claims and, of course, nonfarm payrolls from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Expectations are for ADP and BLS to register job gains of 170K and 165K, respectively, which is off the 324K and 187K, respectively, reported last month. Clearly, we’re cooling on labor force adds, which is good for bringing down inflation. That said, weekly and continuing claims have stayed lower than expected, something analysts have been grappling with understanding fully.

We’ll also see Q2 GDP this week, along with Case-Shiller home prices for June, PCE for July, Consumer Confidence, ISM Manufacturing and Construction Spending. With Q2 earnings season on the wane, it’s these metrics which will inform the Fed of the overall trajectory our economy is on. Thus, while we hope to see all of these prints in positive territory, anything that projects dwindling inflation will likely be well-received by the markets, thinking as they will what future Fed actions will be.

We also do not see any major Q2 earnings results on today’s calendar, though beginning tomorrow we’ll hear from Best Buy (BBY), Hewlett Packard (HPE) and (HPQ), Salesforce (CRM), CrowdStrike (CRWD) and Lululemon (LULU). Therefore, once we get to Friday afternoon of this week, we’ll have set at least part of the table heading into a new trading month (after a three-day Labor Day weekend).
HP Inc. (HPQ): Free Stock Analysis Report

Salesforce Inc. (CRM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP): Free Stock Analysis Report

Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY): Free Stock Analysis Report

lululemon athletica inc. (LULU): Free Stock Analysis Report

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE): Free Stock Analysis Report

CrowdStrike (CRWD): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

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