U.S. stock indexes were set to open higher on Wednesday as technology and growth stocks rebounded, while weaker-than-expected private payrolls data and a slide in oil prices helped ease some worries about inflation.
An ADP National Employment report showed private payrolls increased by 132,000 jobs in August, falling short of economists’ forecast of job growth of 288,000, according to a Reuters poll.
The more comprehensive and closely watched jobs data on Friday is expcted to show nonfarm payrolls rose by 300,000 last month after recording a 528,000 increase in July.
Any signs of a cooling job market would be welcomed by investors as it could ease the pressure on the Federal Reserve to stick to outsized rate hikes.
“We continue to believe that the U.S. economy is relatively strong compared to Europe but the Fed will not believe that inflation is coming down until we see a couple of months of drop in prices,” said Jay Hatfield, chief executive officer at Infrastructure Capital Management in New York.
The three main indexes are set for sharp monthly declines, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq down more than 4% after Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s blunt and hawkish remarks on Friday about keeping monetary policy tight “for some time” quashed hopes of more modest rate hikes.
Meanwhile, mixed economic data signaling an easing of price pressures and a tight labor market has weighed on investors’ minds heading into September, which is typically a weak month for stock market returns.
The benchmark S&P 500 is up 9.6% from its mid-June lows but remains in bear market after plummeting earlier this year.
Heavyweight technology and growth stocks such as Apple Inc , Alphabet Inc and Nvidia Corp which took a beating in last few days due to a surge in Treasury yields, rose between 0.6% and 0.8% in premarket trading.
Marathon Oil slipped 3.2% to lead declines among oil stocks as U.S. crude prices slid about 3% to $89 a barrel on recession fears.
“Oil is down and that’s usually good for tech stocks. If oil is down that means inflation is coming down. There is a 5% bleed through from oil prices to core CPI,” Hatfield said.
At 08:46 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 63 points, or 0.2%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 13.5 points, or 0.34%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 79.75 points, or 0.65%.
Netflix Inc gained 2.1% after it hired two of social media firm Snap Inc’s top executives to help the streaming giant with its advertising-supported tier plan. Shares of Snap dropped 10.1%.
Chewy Inc slid 10.5% after the online pet supplies retailer cut its full-year 2022 sales outlook, while Calvin Klein owner PVH Corp fell 5.5% after slashing 2022 profit outlook.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc slumped 30.5% after saying it would close 150 stores and cut about 20% of its corporate and supply chain workforce as the cash-strapped home goods retailer struggles to turn around its business.
HP Inc dipped 6.1% after it forecast downbeat fourth-quarter and full-year profit.