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Futures edge higher as tech stocks rebound, private jobs data on tap

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U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Wednesday as technology and growth stocks snapped back, while investors waited for private payrolls data to gauge how fast the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates to tame decades-high inflation.

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 easing price pressures and strong labor market has weighed on investors’ mind heading into September, which is a 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.

ADP National Employment report, due at 08:15 am ET, is expected to show private payrolls likely increased by 288,000 in August. It will be followed by a reading on Chicago PMI for August after market open.

On Tuesday, data showed U.S. job openings rose to 11.239 million in July, pushing stocks to close lower for a third straight session.

It also comes ahead of the more comprehensive and closely watched jobs data for August on Friday. Nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 300,000 jobs last month after rising by 528,000 in July.

Any signs of a cooling job market would be welcomed by markets as that could ease the pressure on the Fed to stick to outsized rate hikes.

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 on rate hike prospects, rose between 0.6% and 0.8% in premarket trading.

At 07:07 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 25 points, or 0.08%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 10.25 points, or 0.26%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 83.75 points, or 0.68%.

Chewy Inc slid 10.9% after the online pet supplies retailer cut its full-year 2022 sales outlook and warned about softer demand for discretionary products.

Netflix Inc gained 1.9% 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 6.1%.