Market Insider

What you need to know for Thursday trading

More earnings on tap

The markets quickly shifted focus from the Fed meeting to the upcoming April jobs report, as the next possible source of clues on the timing of Fed interest rate hikes.

Stock futures Thursday pointed to a lower open, ahead of a batch of economic reports, including personal consumption expenditure data, a Fed favorite. Income and spending is released at 8:30 a.m. ET, as is the PCE deflator, the Fed's preferred inflation measure.

The Fed wound down its meeting Wednesday with a statement that failed to give the market any new guidance on when it might start raising interest rates, but it also did not rule out action at any upcoming meetings, including June. The Fed gave a nod to soft first-quarter growth, but added it was affected by temporary factors.

That set traders talking about how the April jobs report May 8 will be the next key data point that could influence the Fed, particularly after March's stunningly low 126,000 nonfarm payroll. Jobs data always looms larger than most other releases.

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