U.S. Stocks May Give Back Ground As Job Growth Exceeds Estimates

Stocks may move to the downside in early trading on Friday, giving back ground after ending the previous session mostly higher. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures down by 0.4 percent.

The futures came under pressure following the release of a highly anticipated Labor Department report showing employment in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the month of November.

The report said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 199,000 jobs in November after rising by 150,000 jobs in October. Economists had expected employment to climb by 180,000 jobs.

The Labor Department also said the unemployment rate dipped to 3.7 percent in November from 3.9 percent in October. The unemployment rate was expected to remain unchanged.

Treasury yields have jumped following the release of the report, as the data has partly offset recent optimism that the Federal Reserve could pivot toward interest rate cuts as soon as March 2024.

Shortly after the start of trading, the University of Michigan is scheduled to release its preliminary report on consumer sentiment in the month of December.

While the consumer sentiment index is expected to inch up to 62.0 in December after falling to 61.3 in November, traders may pay closer attention to the report’s readings on inflation expectations.

After moving mostly higher early in the session, stocks continued to turn in a strong performance throughout much of the trading day on Thursday. The major averages moved back to the upside following the downturn seen on Wednesday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the rebound.

The Nasdaq surged 193.28 points or 1.4 percent to 14,339.99, reaching its best closing level in over four months. The S&P 500 also advanced 36.25 points or 0.8 percent to 4,585.59, while the narrower Dow posted a more modest gain, edging up 62.95 points or 0.2 percent to 36,117.38.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.7 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi jumped by 1.0 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has advanced by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are both up by 0.2 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $1.43 to $70.77 a barrel after edging down $0.04 to $69.34 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after slipping $1.50 to $2,046.40 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are falling $15.20 to $2,031.20 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 144.25 yen versus the 144.13 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0759 compared to yesterday’s $1.0794.

Source: Read Full Article