Stocks are likely to move higher at the start of trading on Friday, extending the strong upward move seen in the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 277 points.
The upward momentum on Wall Street comes even though the Labor Department released a report showing a record nosedive in U.S. employment in the month of April.
The report said non-farm employment plummeted by 20.5 million jobs in April after tumbling by a revised 870,000 jobs in March.
The steep drop in employment was not as bad as feared, however, as economists had expected employment to plunge by 22.0 million jobs compared to the loss of 701,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
The futures remained firmly positive following the release of the report, as many traders feel the dismal jobs picture was priced into the markets during the sell-off seen in late February and March.
Traders now seem to be looking ahead to an anticipated economic rebound as states begin to reopen following their coronavirus-induced lockdowns.
The major averages have already climbed well off their March lows, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq turning slightly positive for the year on Thursday.
Shortly after the start of trading, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on wholesale inventories in the month of March. Wholesale inventories are expected to slump by 1.0 percent.
Following the mixed performance seen in the previous session, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. With the upward move on the day, the tech-heavy Nasdaq returned to positive territory for 2020.
The major averages pulled back off their highs of the session in afternoon trading but remained firmly positive. The Dow advanced 211.25 points or 0.9 percent to 23,875.89, the Nasdaq surged up 125.27 points or 1.4 percent to 8,979.66 and the S&P 500 jumped 32.77 points or 1.2 percent to 2,881.19.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index spiked by 2.6 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index climbed by 0.8 percent.
The major European markets have shown strong moves to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has surged up by 1.4 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 1.1 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 1 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.44 to $23.99 a barrel after falling $0.44 to $23.55 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after soaring $37.30 to $1,725.80 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slipping $4 to $1,721.80 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 106.67 yen versus the 106.28 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0827 compared to yesterday’s $1.0834.
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