Strong Jobs Data Launch Futures Higher


FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. stock-index futures zoomed higher on Friday as traders cheered a round of much stronger-than-expected data on the American labor market.

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Today's Markets 

As of 8:40 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rallied 110 points to 14872, S&P 500 futures jumped 11.8 points to 1604 and Nasdaq 100 futures surged 22.3 points to 2924.

Wall Street has had a manic week: The markets sold off on Wednesday, just to rally on Thursday. Now, world trading desks have focused their attention squarely on the American economy.

The Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls rose by 165,000 in April from March, beating expectations of 145,000. The unemployment rate ticked down to 7.5% from 7.6% for the month, the lowest level since December 2008. Economists expected the rate to hold steady. March’s nonfarm payroll increase was also revised up to 138,000 from a previously reported 88,000.

Traders will also get two other sets of economic data at 10:00 a.m. ET. The Institute of Supply Management's non-manufacturing PMI gauge is expected to have fallen slightly to 54 in April from 54.4 in March. That would imply the U.S. services sector expanded at a slightly slower pace in April from March. A separate report from the Commerce Department is forecast to show factory orders having slumped 2.6% in March from February.

In corporate news, The New York Times reported regulators have stepped up their probe into alleged power market manipulation by J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). The paper cited a confidential document it obtained in the article.

Oil and gasoline prices were modestly higher. The benchmark U.S. oil contract traded in New York rose 44 cents, or 0.47%, to $94.43 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline edged up 0.2% to $2.786 a gallon. In metals, gold jumped $12.90, or 0.87%, to $1,480 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.01% to 2719, the English FTSE 100 climbed 0.25% to 6477 and the German DAX gained 0.19% to 7977.

In Asia, the Chinese Hang Seng ticked up 0.1% to 22690. The Tokyo Stock Exchange was closed for Constitution Memorial Day.

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