Friday January 4th


Stock futures point to rebound after strong jobs report, tech stock gains

U.S. stock index futures rose sharply on Friday as Netflix and Intel were poised to lead a strong rebound in tech stocks. At around 8:35 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of about 230 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also pointed to a positive open. Futures jumped as Netflix and Intel rose 3.9 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, in the premarket. Netflix rose after Goldman Sachs added the streaming service to its conviction buy list. Analyst Heath Terry called Netflix “one of the best risk/reward propositions in the Internet sector. ” Dow-member Intel rose after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded it to buy from neutral. The gains in Netflix and Intel also lifted other tech-related stocks. Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google-parent Alphabet all rose more than 1 percent before the bell. The Technology Select Sector SPDR fund, which tracks the S&P 500 tech sector, gained nearly 2 percent in the premarket. Tech’s move higher took place after the sector fell 5.07 percent on Thursday, its worst daily performance since Aug. 18, 2011, when it fell 5.35 percent. The sharp move lower was triggered by a dire quarterly warning from Apple, which propelled the tech giant’s stock to its worst day in six years and dampened market sentiment across the world. Apple slashed its fiscal first-quarter revenue guidance earlier this week, citing an unexpected slowdown in China. The announcement comes as China and the U.S. try to strike a deal on trade. China’s commerce ministry said the U.S. and Chinese would hold vice-ministerial level negotiations over trade in Beijing on Jan. 7-8. Trade-related names like Caterpillar and Boeing rose 2.4 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, in the premarket. Stock futures pared gains after the release of a monster jobs report. The U.S. economy added 312,000 jobs last month, much more than the expected 176,000. The data propelled Treasury yields to their session highs, with the 10-year yield trading around 2.62 percent. The dollar index also erased earlier losses, last trading 0.1 percent higher at 96.41. Investors will also be keeping an eye on a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at 10:15 a.m. ET. Powell will take part in “Federal Reserve Chairs: Joint Interview” panel on monetary policy and central banking at the American Economic Association and Allied Social Science Association annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Asia markets were mostly higher on Friday as developments on the U.S.-China trade front overcame fears of a slowdown in the global economy which resulted in sharp declines in stocks stateside overnight. The Chinese mainland markets rebounded strongly after an earlier slip. The Shanghai composite bounced about 2.05 percent higher to close at around 2,514.87 and the Shenzhen composite jumped 2.658 percent to finish its trading day at approximately 1,279.49. The Shenzhen component rose 2.756 percent to close at about 7,284.84. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index extended gains to rise about 2 percent, as of its final hour of trade. South Korea’s Kospi also recovered from its earlier losses to close 0.83 percent higher at 2,010.25. Japan’s Nikkei 225, however, dropped 2.26 percent to close at 19,561.96 while the Topix index fell 1.53 percent to finish the trading day at 1,471.16, with most sectors seeing declines. Oil prices rose on Friday after China said it would hold trade talks with the United States and both countries reported strong economic data, while signs of lower crude supply also lent support. OPEC cut crude output in December, a Reuters survey showed, and the American Petroleum Institute reported a drop in U.S. crude inventories. Government inventory data will be released later on Friday. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose $1.34, or 2.4 percent, to $57.29 a barrel by 8:46 a.m. ET (1346 GMT). U.S. crude oil was up 97 cents, or 2.1 percent, at $48.06. Gold eased on profit-taking after prices hit a more than six-month high on Friday on concern about an economic slowdown, with the metal still on track for a third straight weekly rise. Spot gold touched its highest since mid-June at $1,298.42, but was down 0.17 percent at $1,291.41 per ounce as of 7:09 a.m. ET. U.S. gold futures were down 0.12 percent at $1,293.20 per ounce, having risen above $1,300 earlier in the session.