Dow futures are little changed after index notches worst day in more than a year, jobs report looms: Live updates

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on February 29, 2024 in New York City.

Miguel M. Santiago | fake images

Futures linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average was nearly flat Thursday night following the index's worst session in more than a year. Investors were also awaiting key jobs data due Friday morning.

Dow futures fell 21 points, or 0.05%. S&P 500 Futures and Nasdaq 100 Futures blinked near the flat line.

These movements follow a sell on Wall Street during Thursday's session. He Dow fell about 530 points, or 1.35%, marking its biggest daily drop since March 2023 and its fourth consecutive losing session.

He S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite they fell 1.23% and 1.4%, respectively. All three major averages went into the red in the afternoon as crude oil rose and Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari questioned whether interest rates should fall amid persistent inflation.

The Dow has led all three major indexes lower this week, approaching a 3% loss and its worst weekly performance since March 2023. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have each fallen about 2% through Thursday's close . Those moves mark a pullback after the strong first quarter concluded last week, leading some market participants to question whether a correction is warranted following big gains.

"In the near term, stocks are likely subject to some consolidation following strong first-quarter performances," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at US Bank Wealth Management. "A modest pullback would be within the normal ebb and flow of an uptrend market."

Investors will be attentive to the important employment data next Friday morning. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones anticipate that nonfarm payrolls will grow by 200,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate will fall to 3.8% in March.

Average hourly wages, another closely watched metric, are expected to increase 0.3% month-on-month and 4.1% from a year ago.

"The market remains very sensitive to any indication that the data-dependent Fed may need to taper off a rate-easing cycle this year," said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial, citing Kashkari's comments on Thursday. "Therefore, the payroll report will provide important inflation-related data, especially regarding the pace of wages."

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