US stock futures point to higher open ahead of key jobs report

U.S. stock index futures were set to open at record levels Friday as investors awaited the release of the latest U.S. jobs report.

Around 6:50 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 65 points, indicating a gain of 73 points at the open. The 30-stock Dow was set to open above 29,000 for the first time. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to solid gains at the open.

The Labor Department is scheduled to release its December employment data at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the U.S. economy to have added 160,000 jobs in December.


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Friday’s report will follow the release earlier in the week of strong private payrolls data from ADP and Moody’s Analytics. The numbers showed U.S. private payrolls increased by 202,000 in December, easily topping expectations. The monthly ADP and Moody’s data is often used by investors as a preview to the government’s official jobs report.

Stocks hit record highs on Thursday as tensions between Iran and the U.S. decreased. The move higher put the major averages on track for solid weekly gains after a volatile week of trading.

Through Thursday’s close, the S&P 500 was up 1.2% for the week. The Dow and Nasdaq had risen 1.1% and 2%, respectively in that time period.

The Dow recovered from a 200-point drop on Monday but then fell more than 100 points on Tuesday as investors grappled with the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. and Iran. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said Iran appeared to be “standing down” after an attack on Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops. That comment sparked a relief rally that carried into Thursday’s session.

Stocks also got a boost Thursday as investors were optimistic about next week’s signing of a “Phase One” trade deal between the U.S. and China. The two countries have been at odds over commerce for about two years, when Trump first applied tariffs on Chinese solar panels and washing machines.

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