Dow Futures Rise 110 Pts Ahead of Jobs Report

© Reuters © Reuters

By Peter Nurse – U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Friday, maintaining the recent positive tone ahead of the release of the influential monthly employment report.

At 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow Futures contract rose 110 points, or 0.4%, S&P 500 Futures traded 11 points, or 0.3%, higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 46 points, or 0.4%.

The major indices are on course to record another positive week, with investors buoyed by the rapid progress towards the global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines as well as by apparent movement toward a stimulus package.

A record $115 billion was poured into equity funds in the past four weeks, the Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) said, citing data from EPFR. Equity funds saw $9.7 billion of inflows for the week ending Dec 2.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), along with partner BioNTech, insisted Thursday it was still on course to roll out 1.3 billion vaccines in 2021, after earlier cutting its production expectation for 2020 by 50 million. Additionally, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) said it expects to supply up to 125 million doses of its vaccine around the world in the first quarter of 2021.

On Capitol Hill, the recently introduced bipartisan $908 billion coronavirus aid plan appeared to be gathering more support, with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell saying a deal was “within reach”.

These lawmakers may receive more pressure to come to a compromise when the monthly official employment report is released at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT).

Nonfarm payrolls are expected to show an addition of 469,000 jobs for November compared with 638,000 for October, showing that the jobs recovery is slowing.

ADP’s monthly payrolls report on Wednesday showed private payrolls grew at their slowest pace since July.

Oil prices gained Friday, climbing to eight-month highs, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed late Thursday to ease production cuts by 500,000 barrels per day from January 2021. The group had originally planned to raise output by 2 million barrels a day.

The group will also meet once a month to review conditions, but stated that any monthly increases will not be greater than 500,000 barrels per day.

U.S. crude futures traded 1.2% higher at $46.18 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 1.2% to $49.27, with the two benchmarks heading for their fifth consecutive week of gains.

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,845.45/oz, on track to snap a three-week losing streak, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.21566 having hit a new 31-month high overnight.

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