Stock futures gain ahead of latest jobs data

The June employment report will be released a day early because of the Independence Day holiday

U.S. equity futures are trading higher ahead of the release of the June employment report.

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The major futures indexes are suggesting a gain of 0.9 percent when trading begins on Thursday.

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The economic data flow that traders will be absorbing will be heavy on jobs.

The June employment report will be released Thursday morning, a day early because U.S. markets will be closed Friday for the Independence Day holiday.

Another 3 million people are expected to be added to payrolls, an increase from May’s gain of 2.509 million, which was the highest on record. That report was a surprise as expectations were for a loss of 8 million jobs.

The unemployment rate likely fell a full percentage point to 12.3 percent.

US PRIVATE SECTOR ADDED 2.37M JOBS IN JUNE

The Labor Department will also report weekly jobless claims. The estimate is for 1.355 million people to have filed for unemployment benefits, which would be the 13th straight week of declines.

Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher Thursday as hopes for development of a coronavirus vaccine competed with concern about rising U.S. infections.

Investors were encouraged after Pfizer and BioNtech announced preliminary data from a vaccine test, one of a series being carried out by global developers.

At the same time, California and Texas reported daily record highs in new cases.

Japan's Nikkei added 0.1 percent, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong, reopening after a holiday, gained 2.9 percent and China's Shanghai Composite rose 2.1 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE added 0.6 percent, Germany's DAX rose 1.6 percent and France's CAC gained 1.4 percent.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27386.98+185.46+0.68%
SP500S&P 5003349.16+21.39+0.64%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX11108.070638+109.67+1.00%

In the Wednesday session, the benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.5 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq composite climbed 1 percent to a record 10,154.63.

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In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained 27 cents to $40.09 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 55 cents to settle at $39.82 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international price standard, gained 30 cents to $42.33 per barrel in London. The contract rose 76 cents the previous session to $42.03 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.