Stocks slipped before the open Friday as investors waited for the release of the US monthly jobs report, which could make or sink the case for the Federal Reserve to start cutting interest rates.
But it’s this week’s stream of labor market data that has gripped attention, culminating in November’s crucial US nonfarm-payrolls report, due early Friday.
Hints of cooling in the labor market this week are seen as a sign the Fed’s inflation fight is paying off. But Friday’s reading could prove more complicated to assess, given worker strikes hit the comparative October numbers.
In commodities, oil prices bounced back but are still on course for the longest run of losses in five years as the market weighs whether extra OPEC+ cuts will fend off a global glut. West Texas Intermediate (CL=F) futures and Brent (BZ=F) crude futures were both about 2% higher.