US markets to open cautiously higher ahead of NFP
A cautiously higher start is expected for US equities with the release of non-farm payrolls data for July to be the main determinant of final opening values. Weighing on sentiment has been a number of disappointing results amongst media companies with Cablevision set to report before the open.
A stronger dollar and weaker stocks over the past week shows the market has positioned for an unemployment report that keeps the door open for a September rate hike.
Expectations are for 225K jobs created in July with a 0.2% monthly rise in wage growth. A number between 200 and 225k could see the dollar drop and stocks pop in the short-term. As long as job creation is over 200k and annual wage growth holds above 2%, a September rate hike will still be on the table so the existing trend of strong dollar / weak equities should continue.
The Dow jones finished Thursday at its lowest level in six months while the S&P 500 is faring a little better after bouncing off its 200 day moving average.
Media companies have led the decline, triggered by falls in Walt Disney shares which cited weakness in cable subscriptions hurting its TV ad revenues from the likes of its sports channel ESPN. Viacom and 21st Century Fox shares tumbled on Thursday, adding to declines in the sector after disappointing results.
It’s no coincidence that traditional media companies are getting hurt as Netflix shares head for the moon. It’s a ‘pairs trade’ on the future of how Americans watch TV; sell cable, buy streaming.
Earnings are expected from Groupon, Hershey, Cablevision, Monster Beverage, NVIDIA and Sotheby’s on Friday.
Futures suggest the:
S&P 500 will open 1 point higher at 2,084 with the
Dow Jones expected to open 12 points higher at 17,431 and the
Nasdaq 100 unchanged at 4,528.
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