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Here are the most important news items that investors need to start their trading day:

1. Tough August after all

Stock futures were higher Friday after closing out a tumultuous August. Despite a recent string of positive sessions that helped stock indexes trim their monthly losses, the S&P 500 lost 1.77%, while the Nasdaq shed 2.17% in August. The 30-stock Dow dropped 2.36% for the month. Friday saw some positives as shares of Dell Technologies and database software maker MongoDB rose 9% and 6%, respectively in extended trading after releasing stronger-than-expected earnings reports. Athletic apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica‘s stock added 2% after crushing Wall Street’s estimates and raising its guidance. Follow live market updates.

2. Unemployment up

A help wanted sign on a storefront in Ocean City, New Jersey, US, on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. Surveys suggest that despite cooling inflation and jobs gains, Americans remain deeply skeptical of the president’s handling of the post-pandemic economy. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Al Drago Getty Images

Check your calendar: It’s the first Friday of the month, which investors are examining jobs data from the Department of Labor. The report said the unemployment rate rose sharply in August, as the job market appears to be in slowdown mode. Nonfarm payrolls grew by a seasonally adjusted 187,000 for the month, which was more than the 170,000 economists polled by Dow Jones had expected. But the unemployment rate was up significantly from July at 3.8%, which is the highest level since February 2022. Meanwhile, estimates for previous months showed sharp downward revision. The report could provide clues on what the Federal Reserve will do at its September meeting as it seeks to tame inflation and cool the hot jobs market.

3. Ozempic up next?

A pharmacist displays boxes of Ozempic, a semaglutide injection drug used for treating type 2 diabetes made by Novo Nordisk, at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, U.S. March 29, 2023.
George Frey