Dow Futures Slide Over Worryingly Weak September Jobs Report

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 02, 2019 traders work during the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)at Wall Street in New York City. - Following two straight days of routs on disappointing US economic data, Wall Street stocks pushed higher on Thursday as more weak data boosted expectations for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rate cuts. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures slid early Friday after recovering by half a percentage point on Thursday.

The futures index lost 0.36% in pre-market hours as it eyes movement below the key psychological level of 26,000 points.

Dow Jones Industrial Average index chart | Source: Yahoo Finance

The slide in the Dow Futures comes as the market prepares to receive the US jobs report for September. Last month the Non-Farm Payrolls report showed that the number of employment positions in the U.S. had grown by 130,000 which was below forecasts.

Which way non-farm payrolls?

Major Wall Street firms now expect the September number to be slightly higher. Goldman Sachs, for instance, estimates that the nonfarm payrolls rose by 150,000 last month, according to Fxstreet. This is the same number that TD Securities is expecting. Deutsche Bank estimates the numbers will be 145,000 while UBS expects 139,000 new jobs created.

While improved numbers are expected to be printed in the U.S. jobs report, other surveys released this week painted a gloomy outlook. Consequently, this has seen the Dow Jones index drop by nearly 1,000 in two days. The index, however, made a slight recovery on Thursday.

Is the worst over for the Dow?

Among the reports which painted a gloomy picture include the U.S. Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). While a PMI reading of 50.2 was expected, a figure of 47.8% was printed, signaling a contraction in manufacturing activity. This was the lowest level since June 2009. Additionally, the ISM’s employment gauge was also at the lowest level since January 2016.

The service sector, which employed 80.2% of the U.S. workforce in 2018 per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, also recorded a decline in September having fallen from 56.4% to 52.6%.

Another report released this week that indicated that the pace of hiring is slowing in the U.S., and which contributed to the Dow Jones index tanking mid-week, was the ADP National Employment Report. The report showed that the private sector created 135,000 job positions in September, a figure that was below estimates. Additionally, the report also revised August numbers from 195,000 job positions created by the private sector to 157,000.

Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:06 PM

Mark Emem: I cover business and the stock market for CCN. Currently based out of Nairobi, Kenya. Email | Twitter |