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Stock futures dip ahead of November jobs report as omicron concerns loom

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Stock futures were lower in overnight trading Thursday ahead of the November jobs report as the market nears the end of a roller-coaster week driven by Covid omicron variant developments.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed about 90 points. S&P 500 futures dipped 0.3% and Nasdaq 100 futures edged 0.3% lower.

The November jobs report is set for release Friday morning. Investors expect to see solid jobs growth last month, with economists surveyed by Dow Jones predicting 581,000 jobs added in November.

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The three major indexes rebounded in Thursday’s regular trading session. The Dow gained 617 points. The S&P 500 rose 1.4% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8%.

Cyclical names tied to the economic recovery made back some of their recent losses. Industrials led the S&P 500 sectors Thursday with a 2.89% gain.

“We view the recent selloff in these segments as an opportunity to buy the dip in cyclicals, commodities and reopening themes,” Marko Kolanovic, JPMorgan chief global markets strategist, said in a note Wednesday.

On the data front, initial jobless claims totaled 222,000 for the week ended Nov. 27, lower than economists expected.

Despite Thursday’s rally, the averages are on pace for a losing week. The Dow and the Nasdaq Composite are each about 0.7% lower on the week, while the S&P 500 is down 0.4%.

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“With rising cases of the virus, a less accommodative Fed, and tougher growth comps in the year ahead, the uncertainties around the outlook may simply be building — resulting in a more volatile environment for price discovery,” Goldman Sachs’ Chris Hussey said in a note.

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