U.S. Stocks May Regain Ground Following Recent Weakness

After trending lower over the past several sessions, stocks may move back to the upside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by 0.6 percent.

Bargain hunting may contribute to initial strength on Wall Street, as some traders look to pick up stocks at reduced levels following recent weakness.

The major averages have closed lower for four consecutive sessions, with the Dow ending Thursday’s trading slightly lower for 2023.

A positive reaction to quarterly results from tech giant Apple (AAPL) may also generate early buying interest.

Shares of Apple are jumping by 2.9 percent in pre-market trading after the company reported fiscal second quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

The futures remained positive following the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report for April.

While the report showed job growth far exceeded economist estimates in the month of April, the jump in employment followed notable downward revision to the two previous months.

The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment shot up by 253,000 jobs in April compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 179,000 jobs.

However, the job growth in February and March was downwardly revised to 248,000 jobs and 165,000 jobs, respectively, reflecting a combined downward revision of 149,000 jobs.

The report also said the unemployment rate edged down to 3.4 percent in April from 3.5 percent in March. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.

Stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday, extending a recent losing streak. The Dow showed a notable move to the downside, ending the session at its lowest closing level in a month and slightly negative for 2023.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq briefly peeked above the unchanged line in afternoon, but the major averages all finished the day in the red. The Dow slumped 286.50 points or 0.9 percent to 33,127.74, the Nasdaq fell 58.93 points or 0.5 percent to 11,966.40 and the S&P 500 slid 29.53 points or 0.7 percent to 4,061.22.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Friday, with markets in Japan and South Korea closed for holidays. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose by 0.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has advanced by 0.8 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.6 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.5 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $1.98 to $70.54 a barrel after edging down $0.04 to $68.56 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after climbing $18.70 to $2,055.70 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slumping $24.10 to $2,031.60 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 134.91 yen versus the 134.29 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0977 compared to yesterday’s $1.1012.

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