NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's non-farm payroll data day! (Well, actually, its non-farm payroll data time at 8:30 a.m., and investors are eagerly awaiting the report, where consensus is at 226,000 jobs added and an unemployment rate of 5.4%).
U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a lower open as of now. The great interest rate hike debate rages on, as investors try and game when the Fed will start to hike rates, with consensus currently vacillating between September and December. A strong or weak jobs data reading today can move that target, with the Fed watching the strength of the economy to determine its timing.
Overseas stocks are struggling this morning (with the notable exception of the Shanghai composite which soared to a seven-year high today) as Greece delayed its 300 million euros ($342 million) debt repayment that was due to the International Monetary Fund today.
This is the first time that Greece has delayed a payment on the 240 billion euros loan it received. Greece has stated that it plans on repaying the debt together with an additional three other payments that are due this month in a single 1.65 billion euros payment to the IMF on June 30. It's still unclear where that money is going to come from, but negotiations between the two sides continue on potential measures and reforms Greece would make in return for cash.
And cyber criminals have stolen headlines again as the U.S. government reports that Chinese hackers have stolen as much as four million records of federal employees. We expect cyber-security firms including Growth Seeker's Fortinet (FTNT) and Verint (VRNT) will catch a bid this morning on the news.
- Greece is delaying the payment of a tranche of its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that was due on Friday, and the government plans to pay all the four June tranches in a single, 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) payment which is now due on June 30. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande spoke late on Thursday evening via conference call, according to a Greek government official, in a sign that all parties are intensifying their efforts to reach an agreement and unblock the funds from Greece's bailout.
- Vodafone (VOD) has confirmed it was in talks with Liberty Global (LBTYA) to exchange some of their businesses in Europe but said this did not amount to a merger and that the two companies were not discussing a merger, the Financial Times reports.
- U.S. officials suspect hackers based in China of stealing the details of as much as four million people in one of the most far-reaching breaches of government computers, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing the breach, detected in April at the Office of Personnel Management, which essentially functions as the federal government's human resources department.
- Oil prices fell for a third straight day as an OPEC meeting was under way in Vienna. OPEC is largely expected to keep output unchanged for the next six months.
- Inflation expectations in the U.K. increased to 2.2% in May from February's 1.9%, according to a Bank of England survey released on Friday. The pace of hiring in the U.K. slowed in May, data from recruitment agencies show. The rate of expansion sank to a four-month low and the number of vacancies rose at the slowest rate in 2015 so far, according to the survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and audit and tax firm KPMG. The British Chamber of Commerce cut its growth forecast for the U.K. economy to 2.3% for this year from a previous forecast of 2.7%.