Nasdaq futures gain after tech titans report; nonfarm payrolls loom By Investing.com



© Reuters.

Investing.com — U.S. stock futures largely climbed higher Friday, boosted by generally positive corporate earnings ahead of the release of the widely-watched monthly jobs report. 

By 06:10 ET (11:10 GMT), the contract was largely unchanged, while traded 25 points, or 0.5%, higher and climbed 165 points, or 1%.

The main U.S. averages closed higher Wednesday, rebounding from the post-Federal Reserve meeting losses as a generally positive earnings season helped the mood turn more optimistic.

The blue chip closed almost 370 points, or 1%, higher, while both the broad-based and the tech-heavy gained 1.3%.

Meta Platforms pays first-ever dividend

Helping the stock market gains continue Friday was generally positive earnings from the mega-cap tech sector after the close of the previous session.

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:) stock surged in premarket trading after profit at the Facebook parent tripled from a year earlier, resulting in the tech giant paying a dividend for the first time as well as an additional $50 billion in share buybacks.

Amazon (NASDAQ:) also gained after the online retailing giant swung back to a full-year profit of more than $30 billion, announcing $170 billion in quarterly sales.

Apple (NASDAQ:) provided the blip to the positivity, as although the iPhone maker’s fiscal first-quarter results beat expectations, sales of its key product disappointed following weakness in China amid rising competition. 

“Apple’s worrying China sales figures indicate demand for its high-end iPhones is slowing more than expected in the face of rising competition from local companies, including Huawei,” Jesse Cohen, senior analyst at Investing.com, said Thursday. 

The earnings season continues Friday, with results due from the likes of Chevron (NYSE:), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:) and AbbVie (NYSE:). 

Nonfarm payrolls loom large

The widely-watched monthly jobs report is due later in the session, and will provide investors – and Fed officials – with another data point from the labor market to help guide the path of interest rates going forward.

The U.S. economy is expected to have added 187,000 new in January, slowing from 216,000 the prior month, with the ticking up to 3.8% from 3.7%.

This would come after a surprise jump in and a weak report earlier in the week.

A downside miss in payrolls could indicate that the 525 basis points of rate increases delivered by the Fed since 2022 are finally starting to bite, potentially bringing a March rate cut back into play.

The kept interest rates on hold at more than two-decade highs on Wednesday, but Chair poured cold water on the idea of rate cuts as early as March in his accompanying press conference.

Crude on track for hefty weekly loss

Oil prices edged higher Friday, but were still on course for hefty weekly losses following unsubstantiated reports that a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was being discussed.

By 06:10 ET, the futures traded 0.5% higher at $74.22 a barrel, while the contract climbed 0.5% to $79.09 per barrel. 

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, kept its oil output policy unchanged on Thursday, likely ensuring supply remained tight in the first quarter of the year.

However, both contracts were on course for weekly losses of around 5%, as an end to the war between Israel and Iran-backed Hamas would lessen the tensions in the Middle East, easing concerns about supply disruptions through this key oil-rich region.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this article.)

 



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