U.S. stock futures were slightly off Thursday evening as investors hold their breath ahead of a Friday jobs report that's expected to show that May's low numbers were an anomaly and that the economy continues to spawn new workers apace.
The S&P 500 was down 0.01%, the Dow 0.02% and Nasdaq 0.03% as of 10:24 p.m. EDT.
Investors are going into the final trading day after a bumpy week that included renewed Brexit jitters and concerns over lower oil prices. The Labor Department jobs report, which should show the country added about 180,000 jobs in June, would go a long way to reassuring investors who are nervous that the world's economies are slowing.
In May, the jobs report showed the U.S. economy had added just 38,000 new jobs after expectations of 158,000 new hires. Preliminary data Thursday showed jobless claims fell in June, but that is partially blamed on vacations.
U.S. stock markets ended Thursday in the red despite the encouraging jobs data as oil failed to extend a Wednesday recovery. The Dow dropped 0.13%, to 17,895.88, the S&P 500 dropped 0.09%, to 2,097.9. The Nasdaq was the only index to gain, adding 0.36%, to 4,876.81.
A barrel of Brent crude, the industry standard, fell $2.31 Thursday to $46.49 while a barrel of West Texas oil fell $2.22, to $45.22. Oil recovered in early Asia trading, however. Brent was up $0.40, to $46.80 and its U.S. brethren gained $0.32, to $45.46 at 9:19 p.m. EDT.
European markets were able to catch their breath Thursday after a bruising second week with a Brexit hangover. London's FTSE gained 1.09%, while Germany's Dax gained 0.49%. The Paris bourse was unchanged.
The pound recovered slightly in Asian markets in early Friday trade, up 0.25%, to $1.2947 at 10:42 p.m. EDT after earlier touching a fresh 31-year-low Thursday of $1.2877.
Asia's markets were negative across the board in Friday morning trade with Japan's Nikkei down 0.38% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng down 0.68%. Traders said Asian investors were mostly concerned with high crude inventories around the world with the summer driving season set to end in two months, leading to yet more surpluses.
In after-hours trading, Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) tumbled 27.85%, to $29.45, after the FDA paused a Phase 2 study on one of the company's new cancer treatments. The move comes after two patients in the Seattle-based company's trial died last week. The new drug would help treat leukemia.
WD-40 (WDFC) - Get Report may keep wheels turning across the country but Thursday evening the lubricant maker helped its share price slide by warning that its sales will slow in the fourth quarter ending Aug. 31. WD-40 said it now expects sales of between $378 million and $383 million after previously giving a sales outlook as high as $394 million.
The stock slid 4.05%, to $111.20, in extended trading.