U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade ahead of the key jobs data for December. Investors are awaiting earnings results from Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) and The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. (NYSE: GBX).
US jobs report for December will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Analysts expect nonfarm payrolls rising 400,000 in December, up sharply from 210,000 in the previous month. The unemployment rate is expected to decline to 4.1% from 4.2%. Data on consumer credit for November will be released at 3:00 p.m. ET. San Francisco Federal Reserve President Mary Daly is set to speak at 10:00 a.m. ET, while Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic will speak at 12:15 p.m. ET. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin is set to speak at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 52 points to 36,175.00 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures gained 10 points to 4,697.50. Futures for the Nasdaq index surged 37.50 points to 15,796.50.
The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, with total infections in the country exceeding 59,564,110 with around 855,840 deaths. India reported a total of at least 35,226,380 confirmed cases, while Brazil confirmed over 22,395,320 cases.
Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 0.4% to trade at $82.31 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures gained 0.4% to trade at $79.77 a barrel. The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were lower today. The STOXX Europe 600 Index fell 0.5%, while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index fell 0.5% and London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2%. The French CAC 40 Index dropped 0.4%, while German DAX fell 0.6%. French current account deficit widened to EUR 3.6 billion in November from a revised EUR 2.5 billion gap in the prior month, while trade deficit increased to EUR 9.73 billion from EUR 7.70 billion. France’s industrial production dropped 0.4% in November. German trade surplus shrank to €12 billion in November from €16.8 billion in the year-ago period, while current account surplus fell to EUR 18.9 billion from EUR 21.7 billion. Industrial production in Germany fell 0.2% from a month ago in November. The Halifax house price index in the UK surged 9.8% year-over-year in December.
Asian markets traded mixed today. Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.03%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 1.82%. China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.18%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.3% and India’s BSE Sensex slipped 0.1%. Foreign exchange reserves in China rose to $3.25 trillion in December from $3.222 trillion in November. Household spending in Japan fell 1.3% in real terms in the month of November.
B of A Securities upgraded Discovery, Inc. (NASDAQ: DISCA) from Neutral to Buy and raised the price target from $34 to $45.
Discovery shares rose 2.2% to $26.29 in pre-market trading.
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- GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) is launching a division to develop an NFT marketplace and launch cryptocurrency partnerships, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
- James Hardie Industries plc (NYSE: JHX) named Harold Wiens as interim CEO.
- PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PSMT) reported better-than-expected results for its first quarter on Thursday.
- Glaukos Corporation (NYSE: GKOS) reported the FDA 510(k) clearance of iPRIME™ Viscodelivery System.
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