Stock futures suggest markets might get off to a positive start on Friday but employment figures for the month of October, which are due before markets open, could influence the day’s trading session.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.09 percent and those on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.26 percent, while futures on the Nasdaq Composite Index were up 0.23 percent.
The release of nonfarm payrolls data for October, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. EST, is expected to highlight the impact of the government shutdown on the unemployment figure.
“The Federal government shutdown is unlikely to have had a major bearing on payrolls in October. But it will probably have reduced the household measure of employment and pushed the unemployment rate up…perhaps to 7.5% from 7.2%,” according to a note from Capital Economics.
A Wall Street Journal estimate stated that the unemployment rate is expected to have inched up to 7.3 percent while a survey of economists by MarketWatch forecast that the U.S. economy probably added a net total of about 100,000 jobs in October, which would mark the third-worst performance since the beginning of 2012.
These data, along with yesterday’s jump in the quarterly gross domestic product, could be watched and analyzed together for clues to decipher the U.S. Federal Reserve’s next move on its bond-buying program. GDP rose at a 2.8 percent annualized rate in the third quarter compared to a median forecast of 2 percent in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
In Europe, stocks suffered in reaction to a downgrade of France by Standard & Poor’s, which reduced the country’s credit rating to AA from AA+, MarketWatch reported.
France's CAC-40 was trading down 0.77 percent while the Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.53 percent. London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.31 percent and Germany's DAX-30 was down 0.51 percent.
In Asia, markets were steeply lower, as fears of an earlier-than-expected move by the U.S. Fed to scale back its stimulus program took hold, following Thursday’s GDP data, which suggested the U.S. economy is growing strongly.
Japan’s Nikkei was down 1 percent and South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.96 percent while India’s BSE Sensex too was down 0.75 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.6 percent and the Shanghai Composite index was down 1.09 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 down 0.39 percent.