Inventory futures are flat as main averages search to finish the most effective week since November

Traders work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

NYSE

Stock futures were flat on Thursday after a four-day winning streak on Wall Street as investors waited for a closely watched January job report.

The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average only rose 10 points. The S&P 500 futures were unchanged and the Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.1%.

The Department of Labor will publish its January job report on Friday at 8:30 a.m. (CET). According to the Dow Jones, economists expect 50,000 additional employees last month, after a drop of 140,000 in December. The unemployment rate is expected to stay at 6.7%.

There were signs of an improvement in the labor market recovery. Thursday’s weekly jobless claims data showed 779,000 first-time registrants, the lowest since Nov. 28 and below the 830,000 economists expected.

The S&P 500 rose a fourth day on Thursday, hitting a record high that was carried by technology and banking stocks. The Dow jumped more than 300 points in the last session, while the Nasdaq Composite also hit a new high.

“The three pillars of the rally have actually gotten stronger: the fourth quarter results continue to exceed expectations dramatically, more stimulus is being given to the economy and the pace of vaccination is accelerating,” said Adam Crisafulli, founder of VItal Knowledge, in a note.

With four consecutive days of earnings, the top averages are achieving their best weekly performance since November. The blue-chip Dow is up 3.6% while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are up 4.2% and 5.4%, respectively. The market rebounded from last week’s heavy losses as the speculative trading frenzy subsided.

Wall Street is in the middle of a solid profitable season. Of the 184 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported profits to date, 84.2% exceeded analysts’ expectations, according to Refinitiv.

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