Futures up on strong data from Asia
In focus Thursday is the July employment report. Economists are expecting the economy added 185 million jobs.
By Luke Jacobi
After Thursday's rally, U.S. equity futures were slightly higher on strong economic data from Asia. The big news of the day is the jobs report coming out at 8:30 a.m. ET Friday morning. Economists are expecting the economy added 185 million nonfarm jobs in July. Friday also marks marks the end of the heaviest earnings week of the year, with over 500 companies reporting in the last two days.
In other news around the markets:
Japan revised its 2013 and 2014 GDP forecast up from 2.5% to 2.8%. However, private consumption was revised down from 2.1% to 0.5%.
The People's Bank of China said it will continue with monetary policy and will fight property speculation.
The head of the China Banking Regulatory Commission talked about the need to control loans in the country and said the shadow banking industry is manageable.
The UK PMI figure came out at 57.0 versus 51.5 expected.
S&P 500 futures are up 0.09% to 1701.8.
The EUR/USD was up 0.05% to 1.3213.
Japan led Asia with the Nikkei index up 3.29% on an upward revision of the 2013 and 2014 GDP. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index added 0.46% while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.02% in China. Also, the Korean Kospi added 0.14%.
European markets were mostly flat after Thursday's massive gains. The Spanish Ibex Index rose 0.28% and the Italian FTSE MIB Index declined 0.06%. Similarly, the German DAX picked up 0.16% and the French CAC 40 Index rose 0.29%.
Commodities were mostly lower overnight with fossil fuels seeing a slight pullback after Thursday's gains. WTI crude futures fell 0.1% to $107.78 per barrel and Brent crude futures lost 0.2% to $109.32 per barrel. Copper futures rose 0.3% to $317.55 per pound. Gold and silver were down 1.84 and 1.7%, respectively.
Currency markets were relatively flat overnight after Thursday's big moves on European Central Bank and Bank of England announcements. The closely followed EUR/USD pair was just 0.06% lower to 1.3215. The biggest move was with Japanese Yen: the USD/JPY group added 0.26%, and the EUR/JPY pair rose 0.29%.
Earnings reported Thursday
Key companies that reported earnings Thursday include:
Exxon Mobil (XOM) reported second quarter earnings per share of $1.55 vs. $1.90 on revenue of $106.47 billion.
LinkedIn (LNKD) reported second quarter earnings per share of $0.38 vs. $0.31 on revenue of $363.7 million vs. $354.04 million.
ConocoPhillips (COP) reported second quarter earnings per share of $1.41 vs. $1.29 on expected revenue of $12.75 billion.
Stocks moving in the premarket included:
AIG (AIG) is up 5.16% to $49.50 after the company reported strong earnings.
JC Penney (JCP) is up 0.69% with almost 300,000 shares traded. On Thursday, more than 2.3 million shares exchanged hands in the premarket.
Notable companies expected to report earnings Friday include:
Chevron (CVX) is expected to report second quarter earnings per share of $2.98 vs. $3.56 a year ago on revenue of $56.01 billion vs. $62.61 billion a year ago.
Eaton Corporation (ETN) is expected to report second quarter earnings per share of $1.11 vs. $1.15 a year ago on revenue of $5.77 billion vs. $4.07 billion a year ago.
Exelis (XLS) is expected to report second quarter earnings per share of $0.37 vs. $0.46 a year ago on revenue of $1.23 billion vs. $1.38 billion a year ago.
On the economics calendar, nonfarm and private nonfarm payrolls are the biggest announcements of the day. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to come in at 185 million versus 195 million previously. Analysts are looking for private nonfarm payrolls of 189 million versus 202 million. Other figures to look for are factory orders at 10:00 a.m. ET and personal income at 8:30 a.m. ET.
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