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Wall Street eyes earnings, data after weak jobs

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Monday, ahead of third-quarter earnings season and key economic data, following the weaker-than-expected jobs report on Friday that cheered markets that a U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike now looks less likely.

Traders will be on the lookout in the week ahead for any signs of overseas weakness seeping into the U.S. economy, after surprisingly soft job growth in August and September.

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Dow Jones futures briefly gained more than 100 points while Nasdaq and S&P 500 futures were last up 20 points and 11 points, respectively.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

On the data front, the ISM non-manufacturing index is due at 10:00 a.m. ET Monday. Investors will also be keeping an eye out for weekly jobless claims and Federal Reserve minutes on Thursday.

The markets will also be looking to the start of the third-quarter earnings season, with Pepsico, Alcoa and a few other companies reporting in the week ahead. Earnings are expected to decline 3.9 percent for the S&P 500, according to Thomson Reuters.

In Europe, stocks were sharply higher after the weaker-than-expected jobs report, with major indices rallying in excess of 2 percent.

U.S. stocks closed more than 1 percent higher Friday, recovering from an initial decline of more than 1.5 percent, as investors digested higher oil prices and the soft jobs report.

The Dow and S&P 500 closed up more than 1 percent for their biggest intraday upside reversal since October 4, 2011.

Few analysts could find any positives in the September jobs report, which showed the U.S. economy created 142,000 jobs, a number far below the expected 203,000. August and July figures were also revised lower.

Unemployment held at 5.1 percent, according to the Labor Department. The participation rate plunged to 62.4 percent, meaning the Fed may not be able to raise rates this year, which would remove some uncertainty for investors.

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Reporting earnings on Monday is The Container Store, due after the bell. Earnings season kicks off in earnest later in the week.