Stock futures rise as traders digest jobs report

Stock futures rose on Friday to extend gains after Thursday’s recovery rally, with an initial wave of concerns about the economic effects of the Omicron variant at least temporarily. Investors also digested the Labor Department’s November jobs report, which came in mixed compared to Wall Street’s higher expectations.

Contracts on the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq were trading higher. Volatility from earlier this week eased, and the CBOE (^VIX) volatility index fell below 27. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to nearly 1.4%.

The moves came after the Labor Department’s November jobs report, which showed a disappointing employment rate for the month even as the unemployment rate fell to a new pandemic-era low. Payroll gains came in at 210,000, or less than half the consensus of 550,000 economists had expected. The unemployment rate fell to 4.2%, down more-than-expected from 4.6% in October.

Thursday’s rally in stocks came as market participants digested the recent headlines around the Omicron variant, including the discovery of multiple cases in the United States. Alarming peak levels.

“Markets … were pricing, really, in a worst-case scenario,” Jim Smeijl, chief investment officer at SEI, told Yahoo Finance Live.

“I think the market is now changing its direction a bit and maybe reducing the possibility of negative outcomes,” he added. “The big issue still revolves around the global government’s reaction to the alternative and what that means from a shutdown perspective. And that’s what the market is still kind of struggling with at this point.”

Others have reached a more optimistic tone, indicating that the economic impact of the Omicron variant will eventually prove less severe than initially feared.

“If you look at delta, there wasn’t really a meaningful impact in terms of actual consumption…we might have seen a slight shift away from services in the early stages of reopening toward commodities, but overall consumption held up just fine,” Garrett Melson, portfolio strategist Natixis Investment Managers Solutions, Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday.

“And on the capex front, we continue to see signs that companies are saying they’re going to invest in their business and they’re doing just that,” Melson added. “Closes certainly don’t happen here in the United States. There is no appetite from the government and certainly no appetite from consumers.”

7:23AM ET Friday: Stock futures drift aside ahead of the jobs report

Here are the main moves in the markets as the evening session begins:

  • S&P 500 futures contractsES = F.): +0.25 points (+0.01%) to 4576.00

  • Dow futures contractsYM = F.): +11 points (+0.03%) to 34633.00

  • Nasdaq futures contractsNQ = F.): -1 point (-0.01%) to 15,987.50

  • raw (CL = F.): +1.89 dollars (+2.84%) to 68.39 dollars per barrel

  • Went (GC = F.): + $10.80 (+0.61%) to $1,773.50 per ounce

  • Treasury for 10 years (^ degeneration): -1.8 basis points to produce 1.432%

6:31PM ET Thursday: Stock futures jump ahead of jobs report

Following are the most important movements in the markets during the evening session:

  • S&P 500 futures contractsES = F.): +11.5 points (+0.25%) to 4587.25

  • Dow futures contractsYM = F.): +94 points (+0.27%) to 34716.00

  • Nasdaq futures contractsNQ = F.): +34.50 points (+0.22%) to 16023.00

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 10: People walk past the Wall Street Bowl near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on August 10, 2021 in New York City. Markets rose in morning trading as investors looked to a rare bipartisan effort in the Senate to pass a massive infrastructure bill that, if passed, would pump billions into the US economy. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter

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