Stocks adding to gains ahead of jobs report

The Dow closed Thursday shy of the 29,000 level.

U.S. equity futures are pointing to stocks continuing a rally ahead of the release of the December employment report.

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The major futures indexes are indicating a rise of 0.3 percent when Friday's trading begins on Wall Street.

The spotlight will be on the release of Friday’s labor report.

Economists expect it to show employers added 160,000 jobs last month. They also forecast the unemployment rate to hold at its low level of 3.5 percent. The numbers are key because a strong job market has been propping up the economy and allowing U.S. households to continue to spend, even as manufacturing weakens due to tariffs and trade wars.

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Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.5 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 0.3 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite lost 0.1 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE edged up 0.1 percent, Germany's DAX added 0.4 percent and France's CAC was up 0.1 percent.

On Wall Street, money flowed into riskier investments, such as technology stocks, and trickled out of traditional hiding spots for investors when they’re nervous, such as gold.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES25734.97-77.91-0.30%
SP500S&P 5003115.86+15.57+0.50%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX10154.629308+95.86+0.95%

The S&P 500 rose 0.7 percent and surpassed its record set last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.7 percent and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.8 percent. Both also hit records.The Dow fell short iof the 29,000 level.

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Stocks have been rallying after investors took comments from President Donald Trump and Iranian officials to mean no military escalation is imminent in their tense conflict.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.