Equity futures point to higher Wall Street open as US-China trade talks show promise

Investors brace for historically negative jobs report

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox.  Sign up here.

Continue Reading Below

The major futures indexes suggest a gain of 1.2 percent when trading begins Friday in the U.S.

Market optimism has been sparked by a Reuters report that U.S. and Chinese trade representatives discussed, via phone call, their Phase 1 trade deal early Friday.

The two sides agreed to improve the current atmosphere, which has seen increased tensions between the countries over the coronavirus outbreak.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

One thing that could influence the direction of trading will be the morning release of the U.S. employment report for April, which is widely expected to show the devastating effect the coronavirus had on the nation’s workforce last month.

The U.S. economy is expected to lose an unprecedented 22 million jobs, with estimates running as high as 35 million, wiping out every job created over the past decade.

Watch for the unemployment rate to skyrocket from 4.4 percent to 16 percent. If so, it would mean that nearly all the job growth in the 11 years since the Great Recession ended had vanished in one month.

A DEVASTATING JOBS REPORT FOR APRIL WILL SHOW CORONAVIRUS IMPACT

In Asian markets, Japan's benchmark Nikkei jumped 2.6 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1 percent and China's Shanghai Composite picked up 0.8 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE gained 1.4 percent, Germany's DAX added 1 percent and France's CAC is higher by 0.9 percent.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES29822.44-1.48-0.01%
SP500S&P 5003665.84+3.39+0.09%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX12344.988098-10.12-0.08%

In Thursday's session, the S&P 500 climbed 1.2 percent for its third gain in four days.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.9 percent and the Nasdaq rose 1.4 percent.

In the U.S., another 3.2 million workers applied for jobless benefits last week, bringing the total to 33.5 million over the last seven weeks. It’s a shocking number, but it’s also the fifth straight week that it has declined since hitting a peak in late March.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 61 cents to $24.18 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 44 cents, or 1.8%, to $23.55 a barrel Thursday.

Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 47 cents to $29.93 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.