Stock Futures Rise After Jobs Report

U.S. stock futures extended their gains Friday after the monthly jobs report showed a pickup in the American labor market's recovery.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 rose 0.4% and had been up less than 0.1% ahead of the data. The broad market index is on track to post muted losses for the week. Futures on the Nasdaq-100 edged up 0.5%. The technology-heavy gauge has fallen about 1.2% this week and is poised for its worst week since mid-May.

The U.S. added 559,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 5.8%. Economists estimated an increase of 671,000 jobs after an unexpectedly small rise in April.

Investors said the Friday jobs report is likely to influence any discussions inside the Federal Reserve on tapering easy-money policies in coming quarters. Fed officials have said the labor market is a point of focus in determining whether the economy needs further support.

"A strong jobs report is good for more sustained inflationary pressure, because it gets us closer to a tighter labor market sooner, and that is an environment where the market will think the Fed will need to start tightening," said Mike Bell, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. "Without strong jobs growth, that point is further in the future."

In bond markets, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was little changed at 1.622%, compared with 1.624% Thursday.

Fiscal and monetary policy are seen as having been crucial in propelling the stock market's recovery and rally to unprecedented levels since the pandemic hit last spring. Investors said any indications that the Fed may end its support could lead to volatility in stocks.

"Just printing money and pumping it into the system has been a big stimulus for markets, and the second you wean markets off that, it means markets need to stand more on their own two feet," said Hani Redha, a portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments. "It's a kind of coming-off-morphine type of experience."

This week's volatile trading in meme stocks that have captured the attention of individual investors looked set to continue on Friday.

Ahead of the opening bell, shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings fell 8%. The shares finished Thursday's wild trading session down 18% after the movie-theater operator said it plans to sell more stock -- while simultaneously cautioning potential buyers of its shares that they might lose all their money. GameStop slipped almost 2% early Friday, and BlackBerry retreated 3%.

Shares of Pershing Square Tontine Holdings fell 7% premarket after the blank-check company led by hedge-fund billionaire William Ackman confirmed that it is in talks to acquire a stake in Universal Music Group.

Ford Motor shares added almost 4%, extending gains from Thursday, after the auto maker said total U.S. sales in May rose as a jump in SUV and electrified-vehicle sales offset declines in truck and car sales.

Bitcoin fell more than 5% from its 5 p.m. Thursday level after Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted breakup memes on Twitter, writing "#Bitcoin" with a broken-heart emoji. Last month, he said that Tesla had suspended accepting bitcoin as payment for vehicles, prompting a selloff.

Another popular digital asset, ether, also fell 7%. Joke cryptocurrency dogecoin declined more than 10%.

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 ticked up 0.1%.

In Asia, major benchmarks were mixed. The Shanghai Composite Index ticked up 0.2%. Japan's Nikkei 225 declined 0.4% , and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slid 0.2%.

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com


  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  06-04-21 0855ET
  Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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