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MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Holding Tight To Record Levels As Investors Wait For Jobs Data

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10/06/2017 | 12:33pm CET

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

Switch, Costco among stocks to watch

Wall Street equities were poised to let slip their grip on record levels at the open Friday, as U.S. stock futures holding steady, as investors waited for an important update on U.S. jobs growth.

What stock benchmarks are doing

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures slipped 13 points to 22,727, while S&P 500 futures eased 1.15 points to 2,548.75. Nasdaq-100 futures were up 3.5 points to 6,069.25.

Boosted by news of a budget resolution passing Congress , the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday rose 0.5% to finish at 22,775.39, for its 46th record close of the year. The S&P 500 gained 0.6% to end at 2,552.07, its sixth straight record close and its 43rd such finish this year. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed 0.8% higher at 6,585.36.

For the week as of Thursday, the Dow industrials were looking at a gain of 1.65%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were each on track for rises of around 1.3%.

Opinion:The next bear market gets closer every time stocks hit a record

What could drive markets?

The government's monthly reading on nonfarm payrolls is due Friday. Economists polled by MarketWatch forecast jobs growth of 75,000 in September, compared with 156,000 in August. The unemployment rate is expected to come in unchanged at 4.4%, with average hourly earnings seen as rising 0.3%.

The low jobs growth is being blamed on the effect of superstorms in Texas and Florida, the states with the second-highest and fourth-highest numbers of working Americans. September is expected to break an 83-month streak of rising payrolls in the U.S.

A reading on wholesale inventories for August is due at 10 a.m. Eastern, followed by a report on consumer credit for the same month at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Investors will also hear from another bunch of Federal Reserve officials:

-- Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, at a Fed workforce conference in Austin at 9 a.m. Eastern.

-- Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, at a discussion at the same event at 12:45 p.m. Eastern.

-- New York Fed President William Dudley, speaking on monetary policy at the Council for Economic Education at 12:15 p.m. Eastern.

-- St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, speaking on the standard of living at a development conference in St. Louis at 1:50 p.m. Eastern.

Which stocks are in focus?

Data-center operator Switch Inc. priced its initial public offering higher than expected Thursday evening. The Las Vegas-based data-center company said it will sell 31.25 million shares at $17 apiece, after previously stating a target range of $14 to $16. Shares are due to begin trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Costco Wholesale Corp.(>> Costco Wholesale Corporation) shares could see pressure. The wholesale retailer reported results that topped Wall Street estimates for the quarter, but shares fell 1% after the close of regular trading Thursday.

Yum China Holdings Inc.(>> Yum China Holdings Inc) could be active after the Yum Brands Inc. (>> Yum! Brands, Inc.) spinoff announced earnings that included its first dividend and an increased stock-buyback plan . The operator of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants also announced plans for a new chief executive officer.

What other assets are doing

European stocks traded mostly lower , with Spain's IBEX benchmark giving back some of Thursday's rebound as investors assessed the latest developments in the Catalonia-Spain standoff.

Australian stocks led gains in Asia on Friday, boosted by Thursday's climb in commodity prices and rises for financial stocks.

WTI oil futures slipped Friday, while the ICE U.S. Dollar Index rose. Under pressure, the British pound was set for its worst week in a year on talk of an early U.K. election . Gold futures slipped.

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