Reuters – Wall Street was set to open higher on Friday, after data showed the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in February.
The Labor Department’s report on nonfarm payrolls showed an addition of 242,000 in February, more than the 190,000 expected by economists polled by Reuters.
In a separate report, data showed trade deficit widened to $45.7 billion in January, below the $44 billion estimated, as a strong dollar and weak global demand helped push exports to a near six-year low.
At 8:33 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 77 points, or 0.46 percent, with 26,262 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 9.5 points, or 0.48 percent, with 215,969 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 27 points, or 0.62 percent, on volume of 26,292 contracts.
The upbeat jobs report adds to a recent string of positive data that points to a modest recovery in the U.S. economic growth, and strengthen the Federal Reserve’s case to gradually raise interest rates this year.
With corporate earnings winding down, investors will now focus on macro-economic data as they wait for the Fed’s next move. The central bank’s rate-setting committee is scheduled to meet on March 15-16.
Wall Street closed larger on Thursday as the energy sector moved into constructive territory for the year.
Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE.N) was up 9.six percent at $14.90 premarket immediately after the enterprise reported better-than-expected profit and revenue.
Carmike Cinemas (CKEC.O) was up 17.5 percent at $29.50 after AMC Entertainment (AMC.N) said it would buy the theater chain for $1.1 billion, including debt.