Stock futures were mixed on Friday ahead of the August jobs report, potentially signalling a continuation of Thursday’s equity selloff that rocked Wall Street.
Futures tracking the S&P 500 alternated between gains and losses, rising as much as 0.7% before the increase was wiped out. Nasdaq Composite futures remained in the red, sliding 1% after a 5% slide on Thursday.
Without any obvious catalyst, stock markets saw precipitous losses during Thursday trading. Both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 suffered their worst performance in almost three months, with the Dow Jones also seeing a loss of 3.5%.
Tech stocks were most adversely affected as investors booked their gains. Apple’s market valuation fell by a record $180 million, and the remaining members of the “Big Five” – Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook – each falling between 4% and 8%.
Also notable was Tesla’s 9% tumble, its share value having increased by over 400% since the beginning of 2020.
Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda, described the selloff as “a well overdue thumping” for the stock markets. “The technical expression is a downward correction in overbought stocks after an intense period of one-way price action higher,” he said.
Investors are currently awaiting the August jobs report from the US Department of Labour, which is expected to show the creation of 1.4 million jobs during August – down from July’s reported 1.76 million, owing in part to the rolling back of the government’s coronavirus aid and a round of layoff announcements from major companies.