Futures slip ahead of crucial jobs report

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By Medha Singh

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures retreated on Friday ahead of a crucial jobs report in a dismal week for markets roiled by bleak economic data that raised fears of the world’s biggest economy sliding into a recession.

The Labor Department’s report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), is expected to show nonfarm payrolls increased by 145,000 jobs in September after gaining 130,000 in August, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

The S&P 500 and Jones are headed for their worst week in two months following economic reports that indicated a dramatic contraction in U.S. factory activity and a softer-than-expected increase in private sectors jobs.

Wall Street’s main indexes initially fell by 1% for the third day in a row on Thursday after weak services data, but rebounded on increased bets of a third interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Traders now see an 87% chance of a quarter point reduction in rates at the Fed’s October policy meeting and expect a fourth cut before the end of the year.

Facebook (O:) fell 0.5% premarket amid pressure from the United States and its allies to not proceed with end-to-end encryption across its messaging services unless law enforcement officials have backdoor access.

Industrial conglomerate 3M (N:) edged 0.2% lower after Barclays (LON:) cut the stock’s price target.

At 7:09 a.m. ET, were down 88 points, or 0.34%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 11.25 points, or 0.39% and were down 26.5 points, or 0.35%.

In a bright spot, shares of Apple Inc (O:) rose 1.2% after reports that the company would ramp up production of iPhone 11.

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