U.S. stock index futures point to a higher open on Monday ahead of another round of quarterly earnings reports by major corporations. The optimism also follows new highs witnessed by the major U.S. indices last week.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.11 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.09 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.21 percent.
Investors are likely to continue focusing on earnings reports with Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY), Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), Frontier Communications Corp (NASDAQ: FTR) and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:APC) expected to announce their quarterly results on Monday.
Data released by the Department of Labor showed on Friday that the nonfarm payrolls, which measures the change in the number of people employed in the previous month, excluding the farming industry, created 165,000 new jobs in April above economists' forecast of nearly 145,000.
The unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percent to 7.5 percent, from 7.6 percent recorded in the previous month, a four-year low in April. Analysts had predicted the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 7.6 percent in April in comparison to the previous month.
The upbeat data boosted the investor sentiments as the markets extended gains with S&P 500 Index crossing the 1600 levels and Dow Jones Crossing 15,000 briefly for the first time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.96 percent to close at 14,973.96. The S&P 500 Index gained slightly more than 1 percent, closing above 1,600 for the first time. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.14 percent to end the session at 3,378.63, far less than the 5,048.62 set on May 10, 2000.
The robust jobs data that came after a string of disappointing reports this week cheered the markets amid fears about a slowdown in the second quarter. The jobs report also overshadowed the other weak reports released on Friday.
The March factory orders that were expected to show a decline of 2.6 percent in March, recorded a decline of 4 percent, while the Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) released by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) posted a reading of 53.1 in April down from 54.4 recorded in March. The reading came below economists’ forecast of 54.0.
European markets declined in opening minutes of the trade on Monday, retreating from record highs witnessed in the previous week following an upbeat jobs report from the U.S.
France's CAC-40 declined 0.1 percent, while Germany's DAX-30 remained little changed at 8,118.6. London's FTSE 100 remained closed on Monday for a public holiday.
Asian stock markets advanced on Monday as commodity shares surged after positive U.S. jobs data. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained nearly 1 percent to 22,915.09 towards close while the Chinese Shanghai Composite was up 1.16 percent to 2,231.17. South Korea's KOSPI lost 0.2 percent to 1,961.48. Japan's Nikkei remained closed for a public holiday.