Stocks Strong After Jobs Report in April, Will Trends Continue?

May 5, 2017 9:22AM CDT

U.S. stock futures perked up slightly on Friday as investors welcomed a stronger than expected April employment report, showing 211,000 new jobs created last month. Gains, however, were limited by volatility in oil prices.  Dow Jones Industrial Average futures edged 8 points higher to 20,878, while S&P 500 futures rose 4 point to 2,390. Nasdaq-100 futures added 11 points to 5,637. This jobs report indicates that the job market remains healthy, underlining that the economy continues to grow at a solid, but not spectacular rate.

On Thursday, the Dow industrials pared a 110-point loss to finish down just 6.34 points at 20,951.47. The S&P 500 index ended 1.39 points higher at 2,389.52, while the Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 2.79 points at 6,075.34.  With one trading session left in the week, the NASDAQ is poised to gain nearly 0.5%, while the S&P 500 is up 0.2% and the DJIA is barely higher. Losses for the energy sector weighed on stocks Thursday, as U.S. crude and Brent oil prices both crashed 4.8% due to global supply worries. This morning, WTI crude bounced around, off 42 cents $45.08 a barrel, pulling back from a 3% dive in Asian trading, and analysts said prices were likely to remain volatile. Brent was up 5 cents to $48.45a barrel. The next clue to the direction of oil prices could come from Baker Hughes (BHI), which will report on the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil later on Friday. The count has risen for 15 weeks in a row, adding to concerns over the global oil glut.

Fed speakers, six federal reserve officials, are scheduled to speak on Friday. The speakers start with Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer at the Hoover Institution monetary policy conference at Stanford University at 11:30 a.m. Eastern. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard are expected to take part in a panel discussion at the conference at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.


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