(Reuters) – Wall Street was set to ease from record highs at the open on Friday as investors assessed the U.S. employment report for January that showed acceleration in jobs growth but included a downward revision to certain previous numbers.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 225,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department’s data showed, much higher than 160,000 jobs additions expected by economists polled by Reuters.
However, the economy created 514,000 fewer jobs between April 2018 and March 2019 than originally estimated. The biggest downgrade to payrolls over a 12-month period since 2009.
“Where the market is right now, it likes to see an economy that’s not too hot and not too cold because a much stronger economy suggests higher interest rates,” said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.
A four-day run has put the S&P 500 SPX on course to wrap up its best week in eight months as investors took comfort from China’s efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus and limit the economic damage from the outbreak that has killed more than 600 people.
The new infections in mainland China on Thursday were down from Wednesday and Tuesday’s figures, but experts warned it was too early to identify a trend.
At 9:00 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 112 points, or 0.38%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 11.75 points, or 0.35% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 42.5 points, or 0.45%.
More than 300 S&P 500 companies have reported fourth-quarter results so far, of which about 70% have topped earnings estimates, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc (TTWO.O) slumped 9.3% after the videogame publisher missed estimates for quarterly adjusted revenue.
AbbVie Inc (ABBV.N) gained 3.2% after the drugmaker forecast 2020 earnings above analysts expectations.
Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) shares gained about 6.2% after the ride-hailing company moved forward by a year its target to achieve a measure of profitability to the fourth quarter of 2020.
Intercontinental shares rose 4.2%.
Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty