Futures Suggest Positive Opening For Wall Street

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Earnings news might be the focus on Friday. The progress in the vaccine rollout and optimism about U.S. fiscal stimulus might also influence the investor sentiments.

The Labor Department's closely watched report on the employment situation in the month of January is the major economic announcement on the day.

Results of Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Ford (F), Gilead Sciences (GILD), Peloton (PTON), and Snap (SNAP) are expected after the close of today's trading.

Asian shares finished mostly higher, while European shares are trading broadly up.
Initial cues from the U.S. Futures Index suggest that Wall Street might open positive.

As of 7.35 am ET, the Dow futures were adding 132.00 points, the S&P 500 futures were up 18.25 points and the Nasdaq 100 futures were gaining 49.75 points.

The U.S. major averages saw further upside on Thursday, ending the session at their best levels of the day. The Dow surged up 332.26 points or 1.1 percent to 31,055.86, the Nasdaq jumped 167.20 points or 1.2 percent to 13,777.74 and the S&P 500 shot up 41.57 points or 1.1 percent to 3,871.74.

On the economic front, the Labor Department's Employment Situation report for January will be released at 8.30 am ET. The consensus for nonfarm payrolls is 50,000, while it was down 140,000 in the previous month. The unemployment rate is expected to be 6.7 percent, while it was up 6.7 percent in the previous month. Consensus for Private Payrolls is 35000, while it was down 95,000 in the previous month.

The Commerce Department's International Trade in Goods and Services for December will be revealed at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for a deficit of $65.8 billion, while it was up $68.1 billion in the previous month.

Baker Hughes Rig Count the week will be published at 1.00 pm ET. In the prior week, the North American Rig Count was 558 and the U.S. Rig Count was 384.

Fed Consumer Credit for December will be issued at 3.00 pm ET. The consensus is for $12.1 billion, while it was up $15.3 billion in the prior month.

Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Friday. Chinese shares ended slightly lower. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index slipped 5.53 points, or 0.16 percent, to 3,496.33 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 175.18 points, or 0.60 percent, to 29,288.68.

Japanese shares ended sharply higher. The Nikkei average jumped 437.24 points, or 1.54 percent, to 28,779.19 while the broader Topix index closed 1.38 percent higher at 1,890.95.

Australian markets rallied to wrap up their best week since early November. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 climbed 75 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,840.50, marking its strongest close since late February last year. The index jumped 3.5 percent for the week. The broader All Ordinaries index gained 75 points, or 1.07 percent, to finish at 7,112.90.

European shares are trading mostly higher. Among the major indexes in the region, the German DAX is adding 38.25 points or 0.27 percent, the U.K. FTSE 100 Index is gaining 8.81 points or 0.13 percent.

The Swiss Market Index is declining 46.39 points or 0.43 percent.

The Euro Stoxx 50 Index, which is a compilation of 50 blue chip stocks across the euro area, is up 0.66 percent.

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