U.S. stock index futures fell sharply on Friday as higher-than-expected job additions in November poured cold water on investor expectations of the Federal Reserve easing its aggressive monetary policy tightening.
The Labor Department’s jobs report showed nonfarm payrolls rose by 263,000, compared with an estimated 200,000, as U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in November and raised wages despite mounting worries of a recession.
The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged, as expected.
“This is an employment market that continues to remain hot and the wage gains are going to be out of their comfort zones,” said Jason Pride, chief investment officer for private wealth at Glenmede in Philadelphia.
“Hotter labor market means the Fed is going to stay on their tightening campaign or remain higher for longer which is not going to be taken well by the overall economy or the markets.”
Wall Street indexes closed mixed on Thursday following a sharp rally the day before sparked by Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comments on scaling back interest rates hikes as early as December.
Thursday’s moves followed a mixed bag of economic data, including the personal consumption expenditure index, the Fed’s preferred inflation metric, which was better than expected, while manufacturing activity shrank in November for the first time in 2-1/2 years.
Investors now see an 87% chance that the U.S. central bank will increase interest rates by 50 basis points in December, down from 91% before the jobs data was published on Friday. FEDWATCH
The rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee meets on Dec. 13-14, capping a volatile year that saw the central bank respond to the fastest outbreak of inflation since the 1980s, with the fastest increase in interest rates since then to try to offset it.
Growth and technology companies such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) fell 1.6% and 3.2%, respectively, in trading before the bell, as rising Treasury yields pressured the rate-sensitive megacap stocks.
At 08:51 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 411 points, or 1.19%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 59.75 points, or 1.46%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 251 points, or 2.08%.
Semiconductor company Marvell Technology Inc (MRVL.O) tumbled 6.4% in premarket trading after quarterly earnings and revenue missed expectations.