U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade ahead of the key jobs data for December. Investors are awaiting earnings results from Acuity Brands, Inc. AYI and The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. GBX.
US jobs report for December will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Analysts expect nonfarm payrolls rising 400,000 in December, up sharply from 210,000 in the previous month. The unemployment rate is expected to decline to 4.1% from 4.2%. Data on consumer credit for November will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET. San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly is set to speak at 10:00 a.m. ET, while Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic will speak at 12:15 p.m. ET. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin is set to speak at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 52 points to 36,175.00 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures gained 10 points to 4,697.50. Futures for the Nasdaq index surged 37.50 points to 15,796.50.
The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, with total infections in the country exceeding 59,564,110 with around 855,840 deaths. India reported a total of at least 35,226,380 confirmed cases, while Brazil confirmed over 22,395,320 cases.
Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 0.4% to trade at $82.31 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures gained 0.4% to trade at $79.77 a barrel. The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were lower today. The STOXX Europe 600 Index fell 0.5%, while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index fell 0.5% and London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2%. The French CAC 40 Index dropped 0.4%, while German DAX fell 0.6%. French current account deficit widened to EUR 3.6 billion in November from a revised EUR 2.5 billion gap in the prior month, while trade deficit increased to EUR 9.73 billion from EUR 7.70 billion. France's industrial production dropped 0.4% in November. German trade surplus shrank to €12 billion in November from €16.8 billion in the year-ago period, while current account surplus fell to EUR 18.9 billion from EUR 21.7 billion. Industrial production in Germany fell 0.2% from a month ago in November. The Halifax house price index in the UK surged 9.8% year-over-year in December.
Asian markets traded mixed today. Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.03%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 1.82%. China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.18%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.3% and India’s BSE Sensex slipped 0.1%. Foreign exchange reserves in China rose to $3.25 trillion in December from $3.222 trillion in November. Household spending in Japan fell 1.3% in real terms in the month of November.
B of A Securities upgraded Discovery, Inc. DISCA from Neutral to Buy and raised the price target from $34 to $45.
Discovery shares rose 2.2% to $26.29 in pre-market trading.
- GameStop Corp. GME is launching a division to develop an NFT marketplace and launch cryptocurrency partnerships, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
- James Hardie Industries plc JHX named Harold Wiens as interim CEO.
- PriceSmart, Inc. PSMT reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter on Thursday.
- Glaukos Corporation GKOS reported the FDA 510(k) clearance of iPRIME™ Viscodelivery System.
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