Futures are lower ahead of the jobs report

Stock futures were lower on Friday ahead of the April jobs report.

Near 7:31 a.m. ET, Dow futures were down 40 points, S&P 500 futures were down 5 points, and Nasdaq futures were off 12 points — all by under 0.3%.

Stocks went nowhere on Thursday, with the S&P 500 closing off 0.02%.

They retreated from near-all-time highs earlier in the week. And barring a big rally on Friday, stocks are headed for the worst five-day period since February.

Meanwhile, the dollar regained some strength during the week, rallying by the most since November according to Bloomberg. Ahead of the jobs report, the US dollar index was down 0.19%, near 93.60.

“We suspect that the dollar risk is asymmetrical,” wrote Brown Brothers Harriman’s Marc Chandler in a note. “It is more likely to be sold on disappointment than to rally on a stronger report” given the market’s dovish expectations for the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes.

The April jobs report is forecast to show that nonfarm payrolls grew by 200,000, while the unemployment rate fell back to 4.9% from 5%.

Economists expect to see some wage growth as well, and this will be one of the more closely watched metrics in this report amid a sluggish upward trend. Average hourly earnings year-on-year are forecast at a 2.4% gain, versus 2.3% reported in the prior period.

You can check out our full preview of the jobs report, and stay with BI Markets for rolling coverage after the data cross.

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