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Stock futures are flat with all eyes on July jobs report

Stock futures were flat in overnight trading Thursday as investors awaited for Friday’s jobs report for further clues about the Federal Reserve’s path of rate hikes and the state of the economy.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were little changed. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were also flat.

Economists expect 258,000 jobs were added in July, down from 372,000 in June, according to Dow Jones. Unemployment is expected to hold steady at 3.6%. The jobs report is released Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET. 

“Investors will be waiting to see if the labor market can withstand the Fed’s rate-hike campaign as well as it did in June,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade.

Job growth is expected to slow as the Fed continues to hike interest rates to tame surging inflation, but it’s unclear whether that slowing will tip the economy into an official recession. Many said Friday’s report is crucial as it’s one of two the central bank will see before it decides how much to raise rates at its September meeting.

The S&P 500 is up a modest 0.5% on the week, attempting to post a three-week winning streak. The blue-chip Dow has dipped 0.4% this week, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite is outperformer, up 2.7% on the week.

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