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Wall Street's Job Focus Sharpens


The mood has reverted to caution, as Wall Street looks ahead to a key private payroll number due before the markets open. Stronger payroll gains could help extend the momentum set in motion yesterday by a positive manufacturing reading. Earnings news flow may also impact market mood. Global cues are mostly positive, with Asian stocks recording noteworthy gains, while in Europe, the German and French markets are advancing.

As of 6:30 am ET, the Dow futures are slipping 7 points, the S&P 500 futures are moving down 1.20 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures are declining 3.25 points.

U.S. stocks advanced on Tuesday after economic data allayed some of the economic uncertainties.

On the economic front, the ADP National Employment report, which sheds light on non-farm private employment, is scheduled to be released at 8:15 am ET. The consensus expectations are for an addition of 183,000 jobs by the sector in April following an addition of 209,000 jobs in March.

The Commerce Department is due to release its report on factory goods orders for March at 10 am ET. Economists estimate a 1.6 percent drop in orders for factory goods following a 1.3 percent increase in the previous month. Meanwhile, durable goods orders, which make up the bulk of factory orders, fell 4.2 percent month-over-month in March, with transportation orders serving as a drag.

The Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly petroleum inventory report for the week ended April 27th at 10:30 am ET.

Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo will speak to the Council on Foreign Relations, in New York at 8 am ET.

Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker is scheduled to speak to the Economics Club of Hampton Roads Economic Conference sponsored by Old Dominion University's College of Business and Public Administration on the "Economic Outlook, May 2012 at 12:30 pm ET.

In corporate news, Microchip Technology (MHCP) reported fourth quarter adjusted earnings that beat estimates, while revenues trailed expectations. The company's first quarter guidance surrounded the consensus estimates.

Allstate (ALL), Charles River (CRL), Dreamworks Animation (DWA), Expeditors International (EXPD), Extreme Networks (EXTR), Green Mountain Coffee (GMCR), Hartford Financial (HIG), Hertz Global (HTZ), JD Uniphase (JDSU), Lincoln Financial (LNC), Murphy Oil (MUR), Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Prudential (PRU), RealNetworks (RNWK), Symantec (SYMC), Tesoro (TSO), ValueClick (VCLK) and Visa (V) are among the companies due to release their quarterly results after the markets close.

The major European markets are trading on a mixed note, with Germany and France, which remained closed yesterday, playing a catch up to yesterday's gains, while the U.K. market is trading moderately lower.

The Asian markets also advanced notably, with the Taiwanese Weighted Average advancing 2.33 percent and leading the gains of the region.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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