As trading resumes following the long holiday weekend, stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Monday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 254 points.
The upward momentum on Wall Street comes as traders finally have an opportunity to react to the monthly jobs report, which was released while the markets were closed on Friday.
The closely watched report from the Labor Department showed employment in the U.S. spiked by much more than expected in the month of March.
The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 916,000 jobs in March after climbing by an upwardly revised 468,000 jobs in February.
Economists had expected employment to jump by 647,000 jobs compared to the addition of 379,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
The bigger than expected increase in employment reflected widespread job growth, with employment in the leisure and hospitality sector once again leading the way.
The stronger than expected job growth resulted in a continued decrease by the unemployment rate, which fell to 6.0 percent in March from 6.2 percent in February. The drop matched expectations.
With the decrease, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since hitting 4.4 percent in March of 2020, when coronavirus lockdowns were just starting to take effect.
Shortly after the start of trading, the Institute for Supply is scheduled to release its report on activity in the service sector in the month of March.
The ISM’s Services PMI is expected to rise to 58.5 in March from 55.3 in February, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the sector.
The Commerce Department is also due to release its report on new orders for manufactured goods in the month of February. Factory orders are expected to decrease by 0.5 percent.
Stocks showed a strong move to the upside during trading on Thursday, with technology stocks helping to lead the way higher once again. With the upward move, the S&P 500 ended the session at a new record closing high above 4,000.
The major averages all closed firmly positive, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq posted a particularly strong gain. The Nasdaq soared 233.24 points or 1.8 percent to 13,480.11, while the S&P 500 jumped 46.98 points or 1.2 percent to 4,019.87 and the Dow climbed 171.66 points or 0.5 percent to 33,153.21.
For the holiday-shortened week, the Nasdaq spiked by 2.6 percent, the S&P 500 surged up by 1.1 percent and the Dow edged up by 0.2 percent.
In overseas trading, many stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region were closed on Monday, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.8 percent and South Korea’s Kospi rose by 0.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are closed on the day in observance of Easter Monday.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are tumbling $1.16 to $60.29 a barrel after spiking $2.29 to $61.45 a barrel last Thursday. Meanwhile, after climbing $12.80 to $1,728.40 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up $2 to $1,730.40 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 110.45 yen versus the 110.69 yen it fetched last Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1776 compared to Friday’s $1.1759.
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