U.S. stock futures buoyed by Apple euphoria, but trade flat ahead of jobs report

U.S. major stock-index benchmarks saw muted trade Friday, a day after investors scored a boost from the technology and internet-related sector after Apple Inc. became the first U.S. public company to surpass a market capitalization of $1 trillion. However, all eyes are on the jobs report, which is due early in the session and should help influence the buying mood on Wall Street.

What are benchmarks doing?

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
YMU8, +0.09%
were up 9 points, or less than 0.1%, at 25,315, while those for the S&P 500 index
ESU8, +0.08%
put on 1.10 points, or less than 0.1%, at 2,829.50. Meanwhile, futures for the tech-laden Nasdaq-100 index
NQU8, +0.10%
added 5.75 points, or 0.1%, at 7,391.50.

On Thursday, The S&P 500
SPX, +0.49%
rose 13.86 points to 2,827.22, for a gain of 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP, +1.24%
closed 95.40 points, or 1.2%, higher to 7,802.69, on the back of Apple Inc.s share
AAPL, +2.92%
advance, but the Dow
DJIA, -0.03%
struggled to hold onto gains, and closed off 7.66 points, or less than 0.1%, to 25,326.16, as that gauge wobbled on trade jitters.

Whats driving markets?

Wall Street has been caught up in a battle of concern over the U.S.s trade spats with developed economies such as China versus optimism over economic and quarterly earnings results that have been outstanding by most measures.

Fridays nonfarm-payrolls report for July could be the impetus that determines the next phase for U.S. equity benchmarks, which remain a few percentage points from all-time highs. The focus in Fridays report will be whether wages are picking up, a harbinger of higher inflation. That could in turn influence the Federal Reserves monetary policy plan, which was held in check at its latest meeting on Wednesday. The Feds policy update affirmed the central banks intention to lift interest rates at least once more before the end of 2018.

Economists polled by MarketWatch predict an increase of 194,000 new jobs for July, with the unemployment rate set to tick down to 3.9% and average hourly wages slated to show a rise of 0.2%.

The report is due to be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time.

Check out: U.S. jobs report for July likely to be another good one, but the real story is rising wages

What else is on investors radar?

Beyond the jobs report, investors will await a report on the trade deficit for June, with a deficit of $46 billion expected. At 9:45 a.m. Eastern, a Markit services report for July is scheduled, with the ISM nonmanufacturing index for the same month due for release at 10 a.m.

Elsewhere, investors are watching signs of economic slowdown in China. A private gauge showed service sector activity in the country continued to grow in July, but at a slower pace than in June. Chinas economy, already facing a slide, has been hurt by the tariff clash with the U.S.

Key Chinese equity index the Shanghai Composite
SHCOMP, -1.00%
fell 1%, while the Shenzhen Composite
399106, -1.72%
declined by 1.7% after hitting a 3陆-year closing low in the prior session.

Which stocks are in focus?

Dish Network Corp.
DISH, -2.07%
soared in premarket trade Friday, after the satellite pay-TV service reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and revenue.

Shares of CBS Corp.
CBS, +0.32%
will be in focus after the media company late-Thursday reported second-quarter earnings that came in below expectations but narrowly topped revenue forecasts for the quarter. CBS on Wednesday said its board of directors had hired outside lawyers to conduct an investigation into allegations that Chief Executive Les Moonves had sexually harassed women. Thursdays earnings statement made no mention of Moonves status.

AAPL, +2.92%
made history on Thursday become the first U.S. company on Thursday to reach a valuation of $1 trillion, following its better-than-expected quarterly results.

Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch's free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.

Mark DeCambre

Mark DeCambre is MarketWatch’s markets editor. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @mdecambre.

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Quote References YMU8 +24.00 +0.09% ESU8 +2.25 +0.08% NQU8 +7.25 +0.10% SPX +13.86 +0.49% COMP +95.40 +1.24% AAPL +5.89 +2.92% DJIA -7.66 -0.03% SHCOMP -27.58 -1.00% 399106 -25.99 -1.72% DISH -0.63 -2.07% CBS +0.17 +0.32% Show all references
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