U.S. Stocks May See Initial Strength Following Monthly Jobs Report
After ending the previous session mostly lower, stocks are likely to 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 Dow futures up by 62 points.
The upward momentum on Wall Street comes following the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched report on employment in the month of May.
The report showed job growth in the U.S. reaccelerated in May, although the increase in employment still fell short of economist estimates.
Non-farm payroll employment jumped by 559,000 jobs in May after climbing by an upwardly revised 278,000 jobs in April.
Economists had expected employment to surge by 650,000 jobs compared to the addition of 266,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector showed another significant increase, spiking by 292,000 jobs during the month. Notable job growth was also seen in public and private education and health care and social assistance.
The Labor Department also said the unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent in May from 6.1 percent in April, while economists had expected the unemployment rate to dip to 5.9 percent.
With the bigger than expected decrease, the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level since hitting 4.4 percent in March of 2020.
Traders may see the weaker than expected job growth as a “Goldilocks” situation, where the economy is expanding but not fast enough to encourage the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy.
Shortly after the start of trading, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on new orders for manufactured goods in the month of April. Factory orders are expected to dip by 0.2 percent.
After coming under pressure early in the session, stocks staged a recovery attempt but still ended Thursday’s trading mostly lower. The Dow posted a modest loss on the day, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed sharply lower.
The Dow edged down just 23.34 points or 0.1 percent to 34,577.04 after tumbling by more than 250 points in early trading. The Nasdaq slumped 141.82 points or 1 percent to 13,614.51 and the S&P 500 fell 15.27 points or 0.4 percent to 4,192.85.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in yet another mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.4 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index inched up by 0.2 percent.
The major European markets have also turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.1 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.42 to $69.23 a barrel after edging down $0.02 to $68.81 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after plunging $36.60 to $1,873.30 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing $7.60 to $1,880.90 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.82 yen versus the 110.29 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.2155 compared to yesterday’s $1.2127.
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