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U.S. Stocks May See Further Upside In Early Trading

wallstreet aug15 10jan20 lt

Stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Friday, extending the upward move seen over the course of the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 17 points.

The upward momentum on Wall Street comes as traders seem irrepressibly optimistic despite the release of a report from the Labor Department showing weaker than expected job growth in the month of December.

The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment climbed by 145,000 jobs in December after spiking by a revised 256,000 in November.

Economists had expected employment to increase by about 164,000 jobs compared to the jump of 266,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the report said the unemployment rate came in at 3.5 percent in December, unchanged from the previous month and in line with economist estimates.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on wholesale inventories in the month of November. Wholesale inventories are expected to inch up by 0.1 percent.

After ending Wednesday's trading mostly higher, stocks saw some further upside during trading on Thursday. With the continued upward move, the major averages ended the session at new record closing highs.

The major averages finished the day firmly in positive territory. The Dow climbed 211.81 points or 0.7 percent to 28,956.90, the Nasdaq advanced 74.18 points or 0.8 percent to 9,203.43 and the S&P 500 rose 21.65 points or 0.7 percent to 3,274.70.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose by 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index is up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 0.1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.17 to $59.39 a barrel after edging down $0.05 to $59.56 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after falling $5.90 to $1,554.30 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up $1.20 to $1,555.50 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.65 yen versus the 109.52 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1102 compared to yesterday's $1.1106.

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