Futures are flat ahead of the jobs report

Futures were little changed on Friday morning ahead of the release of the February jobs report.

Near 6:56 a.m. ET, Dow futures were up 23 points, S&P 500 futures were up 2 points, and Nasdaq futures were up 10 points, all by less than 0.5%. So not much going on.

But stocks are up for the week. The S&P 500 has rallied 2.3% since Monday, and on Thursday it closed less than seven points away from the 2,000 level after a mild rally in afternoon trading.

The jobs report is forecast to show that the labour market continued to improve last month, even as concerns about economic growth impacted markets. The expectation is for nonfarm payrolls of 195,000, an unemployment rate of 4.9%, and average hourly earnings up 2.5% year-on-year.

Gold entered a bull market Thursday and continued to rally this morning, with futures rising about 1% or $11.60 an ounce to as high as $1,256.70.

Crude oil was doing nothing, as WTI crude was up 0.4% near $34.72 per barrel. Around 1 p.m. ET, Baker Hughes will release its weekly report on US oil and gas rigs. The combined count is about a dozen rigs away from dropping to the lowest levels in several decades.

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