After ending the previous session mostly higher, 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 85 points.
Early buying interest may be generated in reaction to a closely watched report from the Labor Department showing a continued reacceleration in the pace of U.S. job growth in the month of June.
The report showed non-farm payroll employment spiked by 850,000 jobs in June after surging by an upwardly revised 583,000 jobs in May.
Economists had expected employment to jump by about 700,000 jobs compared to the addition of 559,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate unexpectedly inched up to 5.9 percent in June from 5.8 percent in May. The unexpectedly rate was expected to edge down to 5.7 percent.
The stronger than expected job growth paints a positive picture of the gradually reopening economy but is not seen as likely to significantly alter the Federal Reserve’s timeline for tightening monetary policy.
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed the U.S. trade deficit widened roughly in line with estimates in the month of May.
The Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to $71.2 billion in May from a revised $69.1 billion in April.
Economists had expected the trade deficit to widen $71.4 billion from the $68.9 billion originally reported for the previous month.
The wider trade deficit came as the value of imports jumped by 1.3 percent to $277.3 billion, while the value of exports rose by 0.6 percent to $206.0 billion.
Shortly after the start of trading, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on factory orders in the month of May. Factory orders are expected to jump by 1.5 percent in May after falling by 0.6 percent in April.
Stocks turned in a mixed performance for a large chunk of the trading session on Thursday but managed to close mostly higher. With the upward move on the day, the S&P 500 reached another new record closing high.
The major averages all closed in positive territory, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq inched up just 18.42 points or 0.1 percent to 14,522.38. The Dow rose 131.02 points or 0.4 percent to 34,633.53 and the S&P 500 climbed 22.44 points or 0.5 percent to 4,319.94.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index plunged by 2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has risen by 0.5 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.1 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.13 to $75.10 a barrel after spiking $1.76 to $75.23 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after rising $5.20 to $1,776.80 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing $10.80 to $1,787.60 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 111.39 yen versus the 111.53 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1830 compared to yesterday’s $1.1850.
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