James Hyerczyk
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US Stock Indexes

The major U.S. indexes are trading higher during the pre-market session as investors awaited Friday’s major U.S. jobs report that should reveal some important clues as to the pace of the U.S. labor market recovery.

At 02;00 GMT, June E-mini S&P 500 Index futures are trading 4203.50, up 9.25 or +0.22%. June E-mini NASDAQ-100 Index futures are at 13655.00, up 57.25 or +0.42% and June E-mini Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are trading 34478, up 36 or +0.10%.

Thursday Recap

Stocks were mostly higher on Thursday with the cash market Dow rising 0.9%, the benchmark S&P 500 Index gaining 0.8% and the tech-driven NASDAQ Composite gaining 0.4%.

Ahead of Friday’s opening, the Dow is up about 2% for the week, the S&P 500 Index has gained about 0.49% and the NASDAQ Composite was down more than 2.3%.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high on Thursday, as economically sensitive stocks rose after an upbeat weekly jobless claims report, while vaccine makers fell as President Joe Biden backed plans to waive patents on COVID-19 shots.

Cyclical sectors including the S&P 500 financials and industrials rose after a Labor Department report showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 498,000 for the week ended May 1 compared to 590,000 in the prior week. Ahead of the report, traders were pricing in a reading of 527,000.


Vaccine Makers Fall

Shares in Pfizer Inc, Moderna Inc, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax Inc, all involved in the making of COVID-19 vaccines, fell between 0.2% and 1.7%.

The S&P 500 healthcare sector slipped 0.8%, while the NASDAQ biotechnology index dropped 1.2%.

Moderna’s shares cut some losses after it said countries around the globe would continue buying its COVID-19 vaccine for years even if patents on the shots are waived.

Focus Shifts to Friday’s US Non-Farm Payrolls Report

Investors are now awaiting the Non-Farm Payrolls report on Friday for clues on the strength of the labor market and potentially the U.S. Federal Reserve’s stance on monetary policy.

The Labor Department is set to publish April’s jobs report at 12:30 GMT on Friday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect 1 million payrolls to have been added last month and the unemployment rate is expected to have fallen to 5.8% from 6.0%.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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