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Stock futures are flat as major averages try to finish best week since November

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

NYSE

Stock futures were flat in overnight trading on Thursday, following a four-day winning streak on Wall Street as investors awaited a closely-watched January jobs report.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose just 10 points. S&P 500 futures were flat and Nasdaq 100 futures ticked up 0.1%.

The Labor Department will release its jobs report for January on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect 50,000 payrolls added last month, after a decline of 140,000 in December, according to Dow Jones. The unemployment rate is expected to stay at 6.7%.

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

The S&P 500 rose for a fourth day to close at a record high on Thursday, boosted by tech and bank stocks. The Dow jumped more than 300 points in the previous session, while the Nasdaq Composite also reached a fresh high.

“The rally’s three pillars actually got stronger: Q4 earnings continue to dramatically exceed expectations, more stimulus is being poured into the economy, and the vaccination pace is accelerating,” Adam Crisafulli, founder of VItal Knowledge, said in a note.

With four straight days of gains, the major averages are on pace their best weekly performance since November. The blue-chip Dow has gained 3.6%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have risen 4.2% and 5.4%, respectively. The market rebounded from last week’s sharp losses as the speculative trading frenzy dissipated.

Wall Street is in the middle of a solid earnings season. Of the 184 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings to date, 84.2% topped analyst expectations, according to Refinitiv.

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