Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Stock futures bounce around after disappointing employment report
- Job growth last month fell well short of August's reading
- Senate passes short-term increase to debt ceiling, House to vote next
- U.S. oil nears $80 per barrel as natural gas prices take breather
- Elon Musk says Tesla moving headquarters from California to Texas
U.S. stock futures bounced around near the flat line Friday after the government's much weaker-than-expected September employment report. The 10-year Treasury yield was little changed following the jobs data, trading around 1.57%. On Thursday, the market's focus shifted from rising bond yields to the debt ceiling deal out of Washington. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all rose about 1%, logging three straight winning days and putting the three stock benchmarks on track for a winning first full trading week of October. Last Friday's strong gain was not enough to turn the tide on the worst week for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq back to February and for the Dow back to early September.
Friday's jobs report, which will be key as the Federal Reserve decides whether to slow its massive Covid-era bond-buying program, showed just 194,000 nonfarm payrolls were created in September. The consensus estimate had called for 500,000 additions. The headline number was hurt by a 123,000 decline in government payrolls. However, private payrolls increased by 317,000. ADP's look at private sector jobs trends, released Wednesday, showed a brisk pace of hiring last month despite concerns about elevated Covid cases. The nation's unemployment rate fell to 4.8% last month, according to the Labor Department, compared with expectations for 5.1%. August's jobs growth was revised sharply higher by 131,000 positions to 366,000.
The Senate approved Thursday night a compromise bill that allows for a short-term, $480 billion increase in the nation's debt ceiling. That sum, the Treasury Department estimates, would last until Dec. 3. The legislation now moves to the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is expected to take it up in the coming days. While avoiding the approaching Oct. 18 deadline for an unprecedented U.S. default, the measure gives Democrats nearly two months to figure out how to raise the debt limit through the reconciliation process with no Republican votes.
U.S. oil prices, as measured by West Texas Intermediate crude, on Friday morning inched closer to $80 per barrel. The last time WTI was that high was Nov. 3, 2014. As of Thursday's settling price, U.S. oil futures were up about 3.2% this week on doubts the U.S. government would release crude from its strategic reserves in the near term.
Natural gas prices, while lower Friday, have repeatedly hit record highs as Europe and Asia compete for available liquefied natural gas. Europe has been buying on worries it may not have enough LNG in storage for the winter. Asia has been purchasing to meet insatiable demand.
Tesla is officially moving its headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Texas, CEO Elon Musk announced at the company's 2021 annual shareholder meeting. In April 2020, on a Tesla earnings call, Musk lashed out at California government officials calling their temporary Covid-related health orders "fascist" in an expletive-laced rant. In 2020, Musk personally relocated to the Austin area from Los Angeles where he had lived for two decades. However, Tesla does plan to increase production at its California plant regardless of the headquarters move.