Stocks are drifting lower as traders brace for key employment data this morning.
The S&P 500 is down by less about one-quarter of a percent, tracking similar declines in Europe. Asian markets were modestly higher overnight after the S&P 500 closed near its highs yesterday.
The index fell between mid-October and mid-November, rebounded quickly and has been trading in a tight range over the last two weeks as investors await resolution of the so-called fiscal cliff in Washington. Today they’re also focusing on the monthly non-farm payrolls report at 8:30 a.m. ET, which is forecast to show that 85,000 jobs were created last month.
While normally important, today’s job numbers carry less weight because they were probably reduced by Hurricane Sandy hitting New York and New Jersey in late October. Other employment data has been mixed this week, with ADP’s private-sector payrolls report missing estimates on Wednesday but weekly jobless claims coming in better than expected.
— Option Monster