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Jun 3, 2016

U.S. Stock Market Future Indications, by MarketWatch - June 3, 2016: S&P 500 Primed for a Record, With Jbs data a Potential Catalyst

Barbara Kollmeyer
Stock futures stuck to the flat line on Friday, with a record for the S&P 500 in the balance, as investors waited for all-important new-jobs data that’s expected to show muted gains.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMM6, +0.02%  traded flat at 17,825, while S&P 500 futures ESM6, -0.02%  slipped 0.8 points to 2,103. Nasdaq-100 futures NQM6, -0.07%  dipped 3.25 points to 4,529.
Investors will be watching the May nonfarm payrolls report later for a steer on the timing of the next Federal Reserve interest rate increase.
“Following the surprisingly ‘hawkish’ FOMC April minutes and the recent comments by a plethora of Fed officials, including Chair Yellen, that a summer rate hike is still in play, this report may be pivotal to investors’ expectations for the next Fed funds increase,” said Sakis Paraskevov, senior fundamental analyst at IronFX in a note to clients.
See: S&P 500, Nasdaq new highs signal bullish Dow Theory uptrends
A rebound in oil prices helped the S&P 500 SPX, +0.28%  notch a fresh closing high on Thursday, and the index finished up 0.3% to 2,105.26, its best close since Nov. 3, 2015. The index is set to finish the week with a meager gain of around 0.3%.
A pre-jobs data lull in activity was seen across financial markets. The dollar USDJPY, +0.11%  was taking a breather from its recent beatdown against the yen, and gold prices GCM6, +0.15%  held steady.
Read: This chart shows why stocks may be heading for a fall
Brent crude LCOQ6, +0.14% hovered at $50 a barrel as traders weighed upbeat oil data from Thursday against the decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries not to impose a production ceiling. WTI crude CLN6, +0.06%  was steady at just over $49.25 a barrel.
Asian ADOW, +0.31%  and European markets SXXP, +0.46%  saw moderate gains. The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +0.46%  broke six-straight weeks of losses, gaining 4.2% on hopes mainland Chinese shares could get MSCI acceptance.
Nonfarm payrolls on tap: Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expect 155,000 new jobs were added in May after a so-so 160,000 gain in April. A sub-200,000 reading, though, could be attributed to a month-long strike by Verizon Communications VZ, +0.67%  workers.
A reading above 200,000 may prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later in June instead of waiting until July as many on Wall Street expect.
Read: Fed is split into two camps on interest rates
That nonfarm payrolls data comes at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, alongside the monthly unemployment rate and average hourly earnings for May. The trade deficit for April is due at the same time, followed by the Markit services purchasing managers’ index at 9:45 a.m. Eastern.
Read: Here’s what to watch in the May jobs report
The Institute for Supply Management nonmanufacturing survey for May and a reading on factory orders for April are schedule for release at 10 a.m. Eastern.
Fed speakers: Speaking in London Friday, Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said there is a “reasonable case” for holding off increasing the Fed-funds rate until core inflation gets above 2% on a sustainable basis.
Fed Gov. Lael Brainard will speak on economic outlook and monetary policy at the Council on Foreign Relations at 12:30 p.m. Eastern.
Stocks to watch: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, +0.64%  will test a grocery delivery service with Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., and Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon is expected to discuss the program at the retailer’s annual shareholder meeting on Friday.
Gap Inc. shares GPS, +2.57%  could be active on Friday. The retailer said late Thursday that sales for May fell 5%, and same-store sales decreased 6%.
Late Thursday, Tribune Publishing Co. TPUB, -1.81%  announced that it was changing its name to “tronc Inc.” and moving to the Nasdaq from the New York Stock Exchange. The move was met by mockery on the Internet.
Teen retailer Five Below Inc. FIVE, +0.40%  on Thursday reported sharp increases in sales and earnings for its fiscal first quarter.
Air carriers United Continental Holdings Inc. UAL, -0.18%   and Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL, -2.44%   are among those considering bids for Avianca Holdings SA, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.
Twitter Inc. TWTR, +1.20%  and Yahoo Inc. YHOO, +1.36%  executives met to discuss a possible merger several weeks ago, the New York Post reported, citing sources.