MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock-market Futures Edge Higher After Strong Jobs Data

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Big day for Fed speakers: Yellen, Fischer and more

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U.S. stock futures perked up slightly Friday as investors welcomed stronger-than-expected April employment report, showing 211,000 new jobs created last month. Gains, however, were limited by volatility in oil prices.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures edged 8 points higher to 20,878, while S&P 500 futures rose 4 point to 2,390. Nasdaq-100 futures added 11 points to 5,637.

"This jobs report indicates that the job market remains healthy, underlining that the economy continues to grow at a solid, but not spectacular rate," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones.

On Thursday, the Dow industrials pared a 110-point loss to finish down just 6.34 points at 20,951.47. The S&P 500 index ended 1.39 points higher at 2,389.52, while the Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 2.79 points at 6,075.34.

With one trading session left in the week, the Nasdaq is poised to gain nearly 0.5%, while the S&P 500 is up 0.2% and the DJIA is barely higher.

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Losses for the energy sector weighed on stocks Thursday, as U.S. crude and Brent oil prices both crashed 4.8% due to global supply worries. On Friday, WTI crude bounced around, off 42 cents to $45.08 a barrel, pulling back from a 3% dive in Asian trading, and analysts said prices were likely to remain volatile. Brent was up 5 cents to $48.45 a barrel.

The next clue to the direction of oil prices could come from Baker Hughes (BHI), which will report on the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil later on Friday. The count has risen for 15 weeks in a row, adding to concerns over the global oil glut.

Read:OPEC faces high-stakes decision as oil wavers around 5-month low (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/opec-faces-high-stakes-decision-as-oil-drops-to-5-month-low-2017-05-04)

Economy in focus: Some 211,000 people found new jobs in April (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-creates-211000-jobs-in-april-as-hiring-rebounds-2017-03-10)as hiring rebounded from a wobbly showing in early spring, offering fresh evidence the U.S. economy is still growing at healthy clip and paving the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates soon.

The headline number, as well as the 4.4% unemployment rate were above expectations. Wages grew also, but at a slower pace than late last year.

Fed speakers: Six Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to speak on Friday, starting with Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer at the Hoover Institution monetary policy conference at Stanford University at 11:30 a.m. Eastern. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard are expected to take part in a panel discussion at the conference at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

Read:Which Fed members to watch in a clutch of appearances on Friday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-returns-to-pulpit-with-six-speeches-friday-2017-05-04)

San Francisco Fed President John Williams is lined up to speak at a New York conference on the overhaul of housing finance at 12:45 p.m. Eastern. Finally, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen is set to talk about "125 years of women's participation in the economy" at Brown University at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

Stock movers: Shake Shack Inc.(SHAK) shares fell 2.2% after the burger chain reported falling same-restaurant sales late Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shake-shack-shares-plunge-as-company-sales-growth-slackens-2017-05-04).

Activision Blizzard Inc.(ATVI) shares were off 1% in premarket trading after the videogame developer's earnings beat forecasts, but reported fewer users (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/activision-blizzard-beats-quarterly-expectations-but-reports-fewer-users-2017-05-04).

Shares of Zynga Inc.(ZNGA) jumped around 13% in premarket trading after earnings from the social-gaming company beat forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zynga-jumps-7-after-earnings-beat-2017-05-04).

International Business Machines Corp.(IBM) shares fell 2.3% in premarket trading. Berkshire Hathaway's chief executive officer Warren Buffett told CNBC in an interview Thursday that his company has sold about one-third of its stake (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/warren-buffett-tells-cnbc-hes-dumped-a-third-of-stake-in-ibm-2017-05-04) in the computing giant, owing to a loss of confidence in the group.

Berkshire (BRKA) (BRKA) is due to report after the close. Buffett will meet investors and answer questions at the conglomerate's annual shareholder meeting on Saturday.

Other markets: Chinese stocks finished 0.7% lower on Friday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinese-stocks-drop-on-falling-commodity-prices-2017-05-04), pressured by worries the nation's crackdown on speculators and borrowing could weigh on demand for metals. The most actively traded iron-ore futures contract opened down 6.8% on the Dalian Commodity Exchange, after tumbling by the 8% daily limit on Thursday.

European stocks fell from a 21-month high ahead (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-fall-from-21-month-high-ahead-of-us-jobs-french-election-2017-05-05)as investors waited for U.S. jobs data and the French presidential election, which will be decided on Sunday. Investors remain hopeful that centrist Emmanuel Macron (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/emmanuel-macron-5-things-to-know-about-the-man-poised-to-be-frances-president-2017-04-24) will beat far-right Marine Le Pen (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-things-you-dont-know-about-marine-le-penfrances-trump-2017-05-04) in that hotly contested race.

Read:Brace for market mayhem if Le Pen unexpectedly wins French presidency (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/brace-for-market-mayhem-if-le-pen-unexpectedly-wins-french-presidency-2017-05-04)

And:European equities a buy, but watch for this Trump risk: Eaton Vance (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-equities-a-buy-but-trump-policy-inaction-a-risk-eaton-vance-2017-05-03)

Gold gave up earlier gains to trade flat at $1,217 an ounce, while the ICE Dollar Index was up slightly at 98.86 after the jobs report. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was flat at 2.36%.

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-equities-a-buy-but-trump-policy-inaction-a-risk-eaton-vance-2017-05-03)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 05, 2017 09:13 ET (13:13 GMT)