© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid


(Reuters) – Futures slipped on Friday, after a recent run of gains for Wall Street’s main indexes, as investors awaited monthly jobs data to gauge the strength of the U.S. economy and the path of future rate hikes.

U.S. stock markets started the month on a solid footing after a brutal first half of the year amid aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. The and the Nasdaq recorded their fourth successive higher close on Thursday.

Traders are bracing for another 75-basis-point rate hike by the Fed in July to stamp out soaring inflation, but stock markets have found some reprieve this week after the U.S. central bank hinted at a more tempered program of rate hikes.

Fed Governor Christopher Waller and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Thursday they would support another 75-basis-point rate increase later this month, but a downshift to a slower pace afterward.

The closely watched Labor Department report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) is expected to show nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 268,000 jobs last month after rising by 390,000 in May.

However, the data is also expected to show jobless rate remained near pre-pandemic lows at 3.6% and average hourly earnings increased 0.3% for a third straight month.

Meanwhile, European and Asian shares struggled after Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe died on Friday hours after he was shot while campaigning for a parliamentary election.

At 07:08 a.m. ET, were down 23 points, or 0.07%, were down 9.5 points, or 0.24%, and were down 66.5 points, or 0.55%.

Levi Strauss (NYSE:) rose 3.9% in premarket trade after the company’s second-quarter results beat estimates, helped by strong demand for its denim jeans and jackets.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:) fell 4% after a report said Elon Musk’s deal to buy the social media company is in “serious jeopardy”.

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