Wall Street On Edge Friday Morning Ahead of Jobs Report

on June 05 2009 6:27 AM

RTTNews - Wall Street was on pins and needles Friday morning in New York ahead of the release of the all-important monthly jobs report from the US government. Meanwhile, reports that Steve Jobs is returning to the helm of Apple has generated a major buzz.

As of 6:15 am ET, the Dow Futures were up 27 points, the NASDAQ Future were up 4 points, and the S&P Futures were up 4 points.

Stocks resumed their upward move Thursday following a modest pullback in the previous session.

The Dow climbed 74.96 points or 0.9 percent to 8,750.24, the NASDAQ finished up 24.10 points or 1.3 percent at 1,850.02 and the S&P 500 closed up 10.70 points or 1.1 percent at 942.46. The Dow remains down 30% from a year ago.

Friday's trading is likely to be impacted by the release of a key report on the health of the labor market from the U.S. Labor Department ahead of the opening bell on Wall Street.

The government's employment situation report for May is expected to show a slower pace of contraction in non-farm payrolls, with the headline figure forecasted to decline by 520,000 compared to a decline of 539,000 in April.

Nonetheless, the unemployment rate is expected to climb to a twenty-five year of 9.2 percent for May from 8.9 percent in the previous month.

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto (RTP: News ,RIO.L: News ,RIO.AX: News ), which recently entered into a JV agreement with rival BHP Billiton and scrapped its US$19.5 billion deal with Chinalco, reported a decline in fiscal 2009 first-quarter earnings, adversely impacted by price movements and production volumes, amid the downturn in economy.

In lieu of its deal with Chinalco, Rio Tinto instead launched a heavily discounted US$15.2 billion rights issue.

International fashion house Guess?, Inc. (GES) said Thursday after the markets closed that its first quarter profit fell 32% from last year, as revenue dropped and margins shrank. However, the company's quarterly earnings per share beat analysts' expectations.

Reports surfaced over the past few hours indicating that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is healthy and set to return from his medical leave sometime this month. The news raised speculation that Jobs will appear at the company's annual software developers' conference next week in San Francisco.

Asia stocks rallied overnight, with Tokyo's Nikkei finishing at a fresh 8-month high. European stocks were up in early dealing.

The dollar was up sharply versus the sterling, rebounding from a 7-month low seen earlier this week.

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