US stock futures fell on Friday, on track to snap a nine-strong run of weekly wins, as investors braced for key jobs data that will play into expectations for interest-rate cuts.
Stocks have slumped in the first week of 2024 in a marked reversal of a roaring rally powered by high hopes the Federal Reserve will soon start easing monetary policy. But doubts have set in about whether policymakers are prepared to pivot, and traders have scaled back bets on a March rate cut.
All eyes are now on the December US jobs report due later for signs the Fed has nailed a “soft landing”, which would see inflation cool without a big hit to the economy. Data out Thursday signaled the labor market is still robust, which could lift pressure on policymakers to cut rates. But wage increases are slowing, while consumers are still proving resilient.
Expectations are that nonfarm payrolls rose by 175,000 in December, while the unemployment rate edged up to 3.8% month-on-month. The Bureau of Labor Statistics report is set for release at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Against that backdrop, US bond yields continued to rise, with the 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX) up 3.7 basis points to 4.04% after surging Thursday.
Elsewhere, iPhone supplier Foxconn (2354.TW) said it expects revenue to drop in the first quarter amid slower market demand. Apple (AAPL) shares slipped in premarket trading, adding to losses after two analysts downgraded the iPhone maker on concerns about sales of its next smartphone.