After moving sharply higher over the course of the previous session, stocks may see further upside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 88 points.
The futures remained positive even after the Labor Department released a closely watched report showing much weaker than expected U.S. job growth in the month of November.
The report said non-farm payroll employment rose by 210,000 jobs in November after surging by an upwardly revised 546,000 jobs in October.
Economists had expected employment to spike by 550,000 jobs compared to the jump of 531,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Despite the much weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate slid to 4.2 percent in November from 4.6 percent in October. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to edge down to 4.5 percent.
With the much bigger than expected decrease, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since hitting 3.5 percent in February of 2020.
While the disappointing job growth may raise some concerns about the economic outlook amid the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the data may also help dissuade from the Federal Reserve from accelerating the tapering of its asset purchases.
Not long after the start of trading, the Institute for Supply Management is scheduled to release its report on service sector activity in the month of November.
The ISM’s services PMI is expected to dip to 65.0 in November from 66.7 in October, although a reading above 50 would still indicate growth in the sector.
The Commerce Department is also due to release its report on new orders for manufactured goods in the month of October. Factory orders are expected to increase by 0.5 percent.
Following the substantial downturn seen over the course of Wednesday’s session, stocks showed a strong move back to the upside during trading on Thursday. The major averages all finished the day firmly positive, with the Dow posting a particularly strong gain.
The Dow spiked 617.75 points or 1.8 percent to 34,639.79 and the S&P 500 jumped 64.06 points or 1.4 percent to 4,577.10. The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a lack of direction early in the session but closed up 127.27 points or 0.8 percent at 15,381.32.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced by 0.9 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has risen by 0.3 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.5 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are surging $2.01 to $68.51 a barrel after climbing $0.93 to $66.50 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after slumping $21.60 to $1,762.70 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are rising $9.80 to $1,772.50 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 113.38 yen versus the 113.11 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1296 compared to yesterday’s $1.1301.
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