Stocks May Open Higher On Jobs Data, Trade Optimism – U.S. Commentary
Stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Friday, extending the upward trend seen over the past few sessions. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 237 points.
Early buying interest may be generated in reaction to a report from the Labor Department showing stronger than expected job growth in the month of October.
The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 250,000 jobs in October after rising by a downwardly revised 118,000 jobs in September.
Economists had expected an increase of about 190,000 jobs compared to the addition of 134,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Meanwhile, the report said the unemployment rate in October was unchanged from the previous month at 3.7 percent, its lowest level since hitting 3.5 percent in December of 1969.
Average hourly employee earnings rose by $0.05 to $27.30 in October, reflecting a 3.1 percent increase compared to the same month a year ago.
Traders may also react positively to a report from Bloomberg indicating President Donald Trump has asked key U.S. officials to begin drafting potential terms of a trade deal with China.
People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg the push for a possible trade deal was prompted by Trump’s phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday.
In a post on Twitter, Trump said he had a “very good” conversation with Xi on trade, adding that the “discussions are moving along nicely.”
The people told Bloomberg that Trump asked key cabinet secretaries to have their staff draw up a potential deal to signal a ceasefire in an escalating trade conflict.
Trump and Xi are expected to meet on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, beginning November 30th.
After initially showing a lack of direction, stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading session on Thursday. With the gains on the day, the major averages extended the strong upward move seen over the two previous sessions.
The major averages ended the day just off their highs of the session. The Dow surged up 264.98 points or 1.1 percent to 25,380.74, the Nasdaq soared 128.16 points or 1.8 percent to 7,434.06 and the S&P 500 jumped 28.63 points or 1.1 percent to 2,740.37.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved sharply higher during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index shot up by 2.6 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index spiked by 4.2 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has climbed by 0.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are jumping by 1.3 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.27 to $63.42 a barrel after plunging $1.62 to $63.69 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after spiking $23.60 to $1,238.60 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are sliding $4.40 to $1,234.20 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 112.98 yen compared to the 112.72 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1426 compared to yesterday’s $1.1408.
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