Stocks Dipping to Begin the Day, Ahead of Tomorrow's Jobs Report

U.S. stocks are trading modestly lower in pre-market action with the markets awaiting tomorrow's key September nonfarm payroll report. Inflation pressures that have forced central bank tightening across the world remain a focus of the global markets though optimism has appeared to emerge regarding a potential easing of the pace of tightening, boosting the markets early in the week. Treasury yields are a bit subdued, and the U.S. dollar is regaining some of its footing after stumbling to begin the week. Crude oil prices are modestly lower with the markets digesting yesterday's OPEC+ oil production cut, and gold is trading slightly to the upside. In earnings news, Constellation Brands topped estimates, and Conagra also bested profit projections. In economic news, jobless claims accelerated slightly more than expected. Asia finished mostly higher and Europe is mostly lower as the markets in the region contend with the myriad of headwinds.

As of 9:02 a.m. ET, the December S&P 500 Index future is 12 points below fair value, the DJIA future is 139 points south of fair value, and the Nasdaq Index future is 28 points below fair value. WTI crude oil is decreasing $0.14 to $87.62 per barrel and Brent crude oil is declining $0.05 to $93.32 per barrel. The gold spot price is advancing $3.80 to $1,724.60 per ounce. Elsewhere, the Dollar Index is rising 0.4% to 111.46.

Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ $236) reported adjusted fiscal Q2 earnings-per-share (EPS) of 3.17, topping the $2.82 FactSet estimate, with revenues rising 12.0% year-over-year (y/y) to $2.7 billion, north of the Street's $2.5 billion forecast. The parent of Modelo and Corona beers said it saw continued strength in these businesses, while its wine and spirits unit also grew, driven by U.S. shipment volume growth.

Conagra Brands Inc. (CAG $34) posted adjusted fiscal Q1 EPS of $0.57, above the projected $0.52, with revenues rising 9.5% y/y to $2.9 billion, roughly in line with estimates. The consumer food company said it saw an unfavorable impact from foreign exchange, while its organic sales—excluding divestitures, acquisitions, and foreign exchange—rose 9.7% y/y. CAG reaffirmed its full-year guidance, which includes expected supply chain inefficiency and some incremental volume weakness tied to the new inflation-driven pricing that went into effect early in the quarter.