Futures slide after Musk's warning on economy; jobs data in focus

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(Reuters) -Nasdaq futures slid nearly 1% on Friday after Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk’s warning on economic outlook spooked investors already rattled by tighter monetary policies and soaring inflation.

Eyes will now be on the monthly jobs report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, for clues on the path of interest rate hikes amid growing concerns of a possible recession.

Tesla Inc’s shares fell 4% in premarket trading after Musk said he has a “super bad feeling” about the economy and wants to cut about 10% of jobs at the electric-car maker, in an email to company executives seen by Reuters.

Nasdaq 100 futures turned lower following the report and were last down 0.9%.

“Musk has a tendency to say exactly what he thinks and believes, and he does have a fair point,” said Fiona Cincotta, senior financial markets analyst at City Index.

“Although the Fed thinks a soft landing is possible, I do think there are some warning signs in the economy. The question is will they be able to act as aggressively as they need to … Musk doesn’t think that they’re going to be able to without putting the economy into a deep recession.”

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) Chief Executive Jamie Dimon earlier this week described the challenges facing the U.S. economy akin to a “hurricane”.

The Labor Department’s closely watched report will likely show U.S. employment increased at a brisk clip in May, wages grew strongly and jobless rate dropped to its pre-pandemic low of 3.5%, all of which are signs of a tight labor market.

Economists polled by Reuters expect nonfarm payrolls to rise by 325,000 jobs last month after rising 428,000 in April.

Volatility has gripped Wall Street recently as hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials kept investors on edge, even as recent set of economic data showed signs that inflation may have peaked and U.S. consumer strength was resilient.

The blue-chip Dow has fallen 8.5% so far this year, the benchmark S&P 500 12.4%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 21.3%, with rate-sensitive growth stocks bearing the brunt of the sell-off.

At 07:04 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 111 points, or 0.33%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 21.75 points, or 0.52%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 116.5 points, or 0.9%.

Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) rose 1.4% after the company raised its full-year forecast on strong demand for athleisure products and said the impact from COVID-19 lockdowns in China was modest.

Kohl’s Corp (NYSE:KSS) gained 7.8% after a media report that the department store received takeover bids from private equity firm Sycamore Partners and retail holding company Franchise Group (NASDAQ:FRG) Inc.