Wall Street Optimistic About Jobs Data
(RTTNews.com) - Even as apprehension characteristic of a jobs Friday linger in the minds of traders, Wall Street seems to be upbeat in its outlook, as reflected by the trading in the U.S. index futures, which point to a higher opening on Friday. Earlier in the global trading, Asian stocks closed mixed, while the European markets are seeing firmer sentiment amid the release of mixed domestic data. Earnings anxiety could temper mood of the U.S. markets following Alcoa's sub-par earnings performance. The sentiment for the session largely hinges on how the jobs report turn out to be.
At 6:15 am ET, the Dow futures are rising 47 points, the S&P 500 futures are moving up 6 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are jumping 17.217.25 points.
U.S. stocks traded on a lackluster note on Thursday, as traders opted to offload positions on apprehensions concerning the non-farm payrolls report.
On the economic front, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its non-farm payrolls report for December at 8:30 am ET. Economists estimate non-farm payrolls to have expanded by 200,000 in the month, while the unemployment rate may have remained unchanged at 7 percent.
The Commerce Department is set to release its wholesale inventories report for November at 10 am ET. The consensus estimates call for a 0.5 percent month-over-month increase in wholesale inventories for the month.
In corporate news, PC and chip makers could react to the results of Gartner's quarterly PC shipments survey. Gartner said global PC shipments fell 6.9 percent year-over-year to 82.6 million units in 2013, marking the seventh consecutive quarter of declines. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) was pushed to the second position by Lenovo, which had an 18.1 percent share of the market compared to the former's 16.4 percent. Dell's (DELL) share was 7.8 percent.
Alcoa (AA) reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings of 4 cents per share on sales of $5.59 billion, down from the year-ago quarter's $5.90 billion. The earnings missed estimates, while the revenues were ahead of estimates. Progress Software (PRGS) reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings and revenues that exceeded estimates. The company's first quarter and full year guidance was weak.
Amgen (AMGN) announced that its CFO Jonathan Peacock is leaving, effective January 10th, 2014, to pursue broader career opportunities. The company announced the appointment of company veteran Michael Kelly as acting CFO.
Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) said its fourth quarter comparable store sales were flat on a continuing basis, excluding online sales. Citing soft holiday sales trend, the company lowered its fourth quarter loss from continuing operations guidance to 18-21 cents per share, while the revenue guidance was reduced to $211 million to $214 million. Gap (GPS) announced 1 percent year-over-year comparable store sales growth for the November and December holiday shopping season. The company raised its full year earnings per share guidance to the high end of its previously announced guidance range of $2.57-$2.65 per share.
Chevron (CVX) said in its interim update that it expects fourth quarter results to be comparable with that of the third quarter, as it expects sequentially lower upstream, while downstream earnings are estimated to be higher. The Asian markets ended on a mixed note, with the Australian, Chinese, Malaysian, Singaporean and South Korean markets closing lower, while the rest of the major markets in the region advanced. The underlying mood remained cautious, tracking the uncertain sentiment on Wall Street overnight.
The Japanese market closed modestly higher, as the yen traded on a flattish note. Japan's Nikkei 225 average closed 31.73 points or 0.20 percent higher at 15,912. Export stocks came under selling pressure, with Sony, Trend Micro and Fanuc leading the slide. On the other hand, pharma, chemical, construction and financial stocks moved to the upside.
Australia's All Ordinaries traded below the unchanged line throughout the session before closing down 11.20 points or 0.21 percent at 5,316. Energy and material stocks declined, dragging the index lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed at 22,846, up 58.92 points or 0.26 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index ended 14.32 points or 0.71 percent lower at 2,013.
On the economic front, revised estimates released by Japan's Cabinet Office showed that its leading index for Japan rose notably in November, in line with the preliminary estimate. The leading index advanced to 110.8 in November from 109.8 in October
Data released by the General Administration of Customs of China showed the nation's trade balance showed a surplus of $25.6 billion, down from $33.8 billion in November and $32.15 billion surplus forecast. Exports grew 4.3 percent year-on-year in December, slower than the 5 percent expansion forecast by economists. The pace of growth decelerated sharply from November's 12.7 percent increase. Meanwhile, import growth unexpectedly to 8.3 percent.
European stocks opened higher and have been trading roughly sideways since then, as traders look ahead to the U.S. non-farm payrolls report.
On the economic front, the Office for National Statistics reported that the U.K. industrial production remained unchanged in November compared with the previous month. Economists had forecast a 0.4 percent increase in November. Manufacturing output was also steady. Meanwhile, French statistical office INSEE reported that French industrial output rose a better than expected 1.5 percent year-over-year.
The French economy probably expanded 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the previous quarter, the third estimate released by Bank of France showed Friday. The latest estimate is unrevised from the previous forecasts by the central bank. In the third quarter, the GDP contracted 0.1 percent.
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