Stock futures popped higher on Wall Street after the August payrolls report showed a surprise jump in US unemployment as the economy added more jobs than expected.
Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) added 0.5%, or about 160 points, while S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures were up 0.6%. Nasdaq 100 futures put on 0.7%, after all three gauges closed out August with monthly losses.
The US created 187,000 jobs in August, compared with the 170,000 forecast by economists, while the unemployment rate rose 3.8% versus the 3.5% expected.
Investors will now scrutinize the data for what it shows about the health of the labor market, which will add more fuel to the debate about the Federal Reserve’s future path of interest rates.
“We expect this labor market rebalancing to continue,” Powell said in a speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium last week. “Evidence that the tightness in the labor market is no longer easing could also call for a monetary policy response.”
Elsewhere, manufacturing data out of China fanned hopes the world’s second-biggest economy, which has been struggling to recover from COVID-19, could be on the upturn. A private-sector survey showed factory activity rose unexpectedly in August.