The only major data coming out today is the weekly jobless claims report, a survey that hasn’t been too reliable recently due to seasonal adjustment issues owing to earlier lay-offs in the auto sector. This week those issues should be non-existent, and with little other data to look at one day ahead of the official employment figures for July, there could be extra emphasis on those numbers.

The jobless claims report comes on the heels of three labor reports released yesterday, all of which came in worse than expectedcausing some economists to put a downside risk to their predictions to tomorrow’s report.

Ninety minutes before the opening bell, equity futures look poised to climb after the profit-taking session yesterday. S&P 500 futures are up 3.5 points to 1004, Dow futures are trading 43 points higher at 9,288, and Nasdaq futures are roughly flat at 1,614. 

Key Releases Today:

8:30 ― Last week’s Jobless Claims report was taken as good news by markets as the tally of continuing claims fell 54k in the week ended July 18 to 6.197 million, the lowest since April 11. However, initial claims jumped 25k to 584k for the week ending July 25, and a tally of those receiving first time-, continuing-, and emergency-benefits was still at a record high.

Taken together, the figures have yet to signal that job creation is lowering the number of claims. But seasonal adjustment issues are said to be out of the picture now, so if analysts are right in forecasting initial claims to come in at 575k in the final week of July, it would at least point unambiguously to less severe job destruction.

“Claims should fall over the next few months, as the economy appears more or less to have stabilized,” said Ian Shepherdson from HFE in a client note. “Even so, we are not expecting the drop in claims to be as rapid as usual over the next few months because the overall economic recovery will be very muted relative to previous norms.”