U.S. Stocks May Regain Ground In Early Trading

After closing lower for four consecutive sessions, stocks may regain ground 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 100 points.

Traders may look to pick up stocks at somewhat reduced levels following the recent weakness, which reflected concerns about the outlook for interest rates and the global economy.

However, the major index futures gave back some ground following the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report.

The report showed non-farm payroll employment jumped by 261,000 jobs in October after surging by an upwardly revised 315,000 jobs in September.

Economists had expected employment to climb by about 200,000 jobs compared to the addition of 263,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent in October from 3.5 percent in September. The unemployment rate was expected to inch up to 3.6 percent.

The report points to continued strength in the U.S. labor market but may add to worries about the Federal Reserve continuing its aggressive interest rate increases.

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, extending losses to a fourth straight session, as slowing growth and rising interest rates dampened investors sentiment.

The fourth straight 75-basis point interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve and comments from the central bank Chair Jerome Powell that signaled more interest rate hikes in the coming months rendered the mood bearish.

The major averages all ended in the red despite seeing a modest recovery from early lows. The Dow ended with a loss of 146.51 points or 0.5 percent at 32,001.25

The S&P 500 settled at 3,719.89, losing 39.80 points or 1.1 percent, while the Nasdaq ended with a loss of 181.86 points or 1.7 percent at 10,342.94.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slump by 1.7 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index surged by 2.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all shown strong moves to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has shot up by 2.4 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 1.6 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.4 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are spiking $2.94 to $91.11 a barrel after tumbling $1.83 to $88.17 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after slumping $19.10 to $1,630.90 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are jumping $21.20 to $1,652.10 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 147.86 yen versus the 148.26 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $0.9798 compared to yesterday’s $0.9749.

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