US Stock Futures Point To Upbeat Open; Jobs Data To Hold Investors’ Attention, Provide Direction

 @arjunkashyapa.kashyap@ibtimes.com
on February 07 2014 5:46 AM
NYSE_Wall Street
Traders stand outside the New York Stock Exchange prior to the opening bell on Oct. 31, 2012. Reuters/Brendan McDermid

While stocks ended Thursday’s session on an upbeat note with all three major U.S. indexes gaining more than a percentage point, jobs data could sour the mood if it does not live up to expectations.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.2 percent and futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.3 percent while those on the Nasdaq were up 0.51 percent. On Thursday, the Dow gained nearly 200 points, or 1.22 percent, while the S&P 500 climbed 1.24 percent and the Nasdaq gained 1.14 percent.

On the data front, unemployment and jobs data for January will be watched keenly by the markets. According to a Wall Street Journal consensus estimate, the non-farm payroll number is expected to have increased to 181,000 from 74,000 in the previous month and private payroll is expected to have expanded to 182,000 from 87,000. The unemployment figure is expected to stay constant at 6.7 percent, however an estimate by MarketWatch projects the number to dip to 6.6 percent, while others expect bigger declines. The data release is due at 8:30 a.m. EST.

In Europe, stocks were positive with the Stoxx Europe 600 index up 0.33 percent while the FTSE 100 was up 0.19 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was up 0.32 percent and France's CAC-40 was up 0.03 percent.

In Asia, markets were up with Japan’s Nikkei climbing 2.17 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.68 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1 percent while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.56 percent. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.77 percent and India’s BSE Sensex ended the day up 0.32 percent.

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