Dow Jones Futures Up 96 Pts; Nonfarm Payrolls Due

This post was originally published on this site – U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Friday, continuing to post record highs with investors looking through the near-term political turmoil and expecting increased fiscal spending to result in a strong economic recovery.

At 7:15 AM ET (1215 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 96 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 Futures traded 14 points, or 0.4%, higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 66 points, or 0.5%. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended Thursday 0.7% higher, closing above 31,000 for the first time. The Nasdaq Composite ended above 13,000 for the first time after gaining 2.6%, while the S&P 500 closed up 1.5%, also a new record high. 

President Donald Trump attempted late Thursday to cool the political climate in the wake of Wednesday’s violent scenes on Capitol Hill, denouncing those who broke the law and finally conceding that President-elect Joe Biden will take charge on January 20th. 

This statement came after a number of officials in Trump’s administration, including Transport Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, resigned amid widespread calls for him to be removed from office, even with less than two weeks of his term to go.

Still, investors remain buoyant based on the expectation of more fiscal spending by the incoming Biden administration, with control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, while the Federal Reserve continues to keep borrowing costs at very low levels.

The U.S. reported a new record daily level of deaths associated with the Covid-19 virus on Thursday, with 4,110 people passing away while 268,000 new cases were registered. Over the last week alone, there have been 1.6 million new cases and over 19,000 deaths.

This rise in cases, and the associated mobility restrictions, could be reflected in the December nonfarm payrolls data, due at 8:30 AM ET (1330 GMT). The report is expected to show a gain of 71,000, which would be far lower than the 245,000 jobs added in November. 

In corporate news, Boeing (NYSE:BA) has reached a $2.5 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over the plane crashes that led to the grounding of its 737 MAX jetliner, while Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been linked with South Korean carmaker Hyundai over the potential development of a vehicle.

Oil prices edged higher Friday, continuing the bullish tone created by Saudi Arabia’s surprise announcement earlier this week that it would voluntarily cut output by one million barrels per day for the next two months.

U.S. crude futures traded 1.5% higher at $51.59 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 1.8% to $55.33. Both benchmarks are on track to post gains of around 5% this week, and are trading around the highest levels seen since February last year.

Elsewhere, gold futures fell 1.1% to $1,893.10/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% lower at 1.2250.