Payrolls not seen changing the outlook for Fed action
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U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday, suggesting the Dow industrials could extend their winning streak to nine after the closely watched July jobs report came in stronger than expected.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 59 points, or 0.2%, to 22,034, putting the blue-chip gauge in position to set its eighth record close in a row and advance for a ninth consecutive session. The Dow logged an all-time closing high of 22,026.10 on Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-faces-struggle-to-hold-above-22000-but-tesla-tears-higher-2017-08-03), and the average has notched 33 record closes in 2017.
See: Howard Gold's 3 reasons a stock-market correction is coming (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/3-reasons-a-stock-market-correction-is-coming-in-late-summer-or-early-fall-2017-08-03)
S&P 500 index futures gained 4 points, or 0.2%, to 2,475.75, while those for the Nasdaq-100 index rose 13 points, or 0.3%, to 5,904.
The U.S. created 209,000 new jobs in July (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-adds-209000-jobs-in-july-unemployment-43-2017-08-04), easily beating Wall Street forecasts for 175,000 jobs to have been added. Separately, the unemployment rate moved to 4.3% from 4.4%, retouching a 16-year low.
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The report is seen as crucial for the Federal Reserve as it decides whether to raise interest rates one more time this year or to keep them on hold. After a string of lackluster economic readings recently, investors are starting to doubt further monetary tightening is on the cards in the short term. Those doubts have helped send the dollar sharply lower.
"The number came in above consensus, but in the ballpark we were expecting, so we're taking it in stride," said Jeff Zipper, managing director of investments at U.S. Bank Private Client Wealth Management. "There were no big surprises, and net-net, I think the Federal Reserve remains on track for one more interest rate hike this year after this."
For the week, as of Thursday's close, the Dow average was set for a 0.9% gain and the Nasdaq for a 0.5% drop. The S&P was flat on a weekly basis. The S&P is about half a percentage point away from its own record, while the Nasdaq is almost 2 percentage points below its own.
"There are some concerns that we're fully valued, but we're of the thesis that markets will continue to grind higher until the end of the year," Zipper said. "Corporate earnings show that both the top line and the bottom line are coming in nicely, which justifies where we're trading."
Read:Let this be your final warning on U.S. stocks' overvaluation (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/let-this-be-your-final-warning-on-us-stocks-overvaluation-2017-08-04)
Stock movers: Shares of GoPro Inc.(GPRO) jumped 14% ahead of the bell after the wearable video-camera maker's quarterly results and outlook out late Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gopro-shares-jump-more-than-10-after-results-outlook-beat-street-estimates-2017-08-03) beat Wall Street estimates.
Weight Watchers International Inc.(WTW) also beat forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/weight-watchers-stock-rockets-toward-5-year-high-after-profit-and-sales-beat-raised-outlook-2017-08-03) with its late Thursday earnings, sending shares 14% higher in Friday's premarket action.
In earnings on Friday, Cigna Corp.'s(CI) profit came in well ahead of forecasts, and the health care insurance company raised its 2017 outlook.
Trivago NV(TRVG) is on the earnings docket ahead of the open, while Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.(BRKA) (BRKA) will report after the market close.
U.S.-listed shares of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC(RBS.LN) gained 1.8% premarket after the U.K. bank posted its first half-year profit in three years (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rbs-swings-to-profit-as-one-off-effect-fades-2017-08-04).
Other markets: Asian stock markets closed mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-mixed-as-investors-await-us-job-report-2017-08-03). European investors were also staying on the sidelines (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-hold-steady-with-us-jobs-update-in-focus-2017-08-04), with all major indexes making moves of less than 0.1%.
Oil prices slumped ahead of the weekly Baker Hughes (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/crude-oil-loses-grip-of-49-a-barrel-ahead-of-us-rig-data-2017-08-04) rig-count report. Metals, including gold , were higher across the board.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 04, 2017 09:09 ET (13:09 GMT)