Futures Surge, Labor Data Strong, Trade Deal Inching Closer

The U.S. market surged in early trading after a blowout labor report. Activity may have slowed but labor markets and consumer health remain strong.
Thomas Hughes

The U.S. Market Is Up In Early Trading

The U.S. futures were marginally higher in the early morning hours. Traders were on watch for the NFP report and well-pleased after its release. The headline 266,000 is 80,000 better than expected and bolstered by other data points within the release. Revisions to the prior two months add another 41,000 new jobs to the economy and drove the unemployment rate back to 3.5%.

The Labor Force Participation Rate and Employment to Population Ratio both held steady giving evidence the drop in unemployment is due to actual hiring. The Dow Jones Industrial Average index futures gained 150 points after the report and was closely followed by the S&P and NASDAQ Composite.

In trade news, President Trump issued some positive comments on Thursday. He says the two sides are inching closer to a deal suggesting the Phase One talks were still on track. Meanwhile, China waived some tariffs on U.S. pork and soybeans in a gesture of good faith lending credence to the idea is close at hand. The deadline to avoid another round of tariffs is just a week away.

EU Markets Move Higher, UK Election In Focus

The EU markets are broadly higher on Friday as they follow the U.S. markets back to their recent highs. The UK FTSE 100 is in the lead with a gain of 0.85%. Traders in the UK are growing confident Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party will win in next week’s snap election. If the Conservatives win a major majority as expected they will be able to push Johnson’s Brexit plan through Parliament and effect a clean Brexit. Elsewhere in the region, markets were less buoyant but rose nonetheless. The DAX advanced 0.20% by midday and the CAC 0.40%.

In stock news, shares of Swiss Re are up more than 2.5%. The company announced the divestiture of a subsidiary unit in an effort to raise cash and improve core operations. Shares of Glencore are moving in the opposite direction, shedding nearly -1.75% by midday. The move is driven by news of an investigation by bribery officials.

Asian Market Are Broadly Higher

The Asian markets moved broadly higher on Friday. The move is supported by trade hopes and Trump’s Thursday comments. The Hong Kong Hang Seng led the advance with a gain of 1.07% with the Kospi a close second. The Shanghai, ASX and Nikkie indices all advanced 0.25% to 0.45%. In individual stock news, shares of all major market heavyweights were moving higher. A

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