Stock futures edge higher ahead of Labor market data

Stock futures edge higher ahead of Labor market data

On the floor of the NYSE in New York, traders work on the floor.

On Thursday, the U.S stock index futures edged up ahead of labor market data, while investors assessed the July meeting minutes of the Federal Reserve that suggested the central bank might pursue a less aggressive monetary policy tightening path.

After the minutes on Wednesday, traders believe that the Fed will raise rates by 50 basis points in September, rather than a third 75 basis-point hike. FEDWATCH The July FOMC minutes indicated that participants thought that it would likely become appropriate to slow the pace of hiking while assessing the impact of tighter financial conditions, Goldman Sachs said in a note.

The yields of Treasury pulled back a bit, giving a boost to some of the high-growth and technology stocks in premarket trading.

The Fed has lifted its benchmark interest rate by 225 bps so far this year to control four-decades high inflation, which has resulted in a selloff in equity markets as investors adjust to tighter financial conditions.

The Labor Department data is due at 8: 30 a.m. The initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 for the week ending Aug. 13, up from 262,000 in the previous week.

The data showing softer-than-expected inflation in July has sparked a risk-on rally in Wall Street in the last few weeks, with investors waiting for more information on interest rates from the Fed's annual Jackson Hole symposium next week.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq has bounced nearly 22% from its mid-June lows, while the benchmark S&P 500 has gone up 17%, supported by upbeat results from corporate America.

The Dow e-minis were up 28 points, or 0.08%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.25 points, or 0.08%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 4 points, or 0.03%.

Kohl's Corp dropped 7.5% on its full-year sales and profit forecasts, squeezed by steeper discounts and higher costs, while Estee Lauder Cos Inc fell 1.6% as it forecasts full-year sales below estimates.