Wall St. set to open higher after robust jobs report

Wall Street was set to open higher on Friday as Chinese stocks recovered, oil prices clawed back and data showed robust job growth in the United States.

Nonfarm payrolls surged by 292,000 in December, and unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent. October and November payrolls were revised to show 50,000 more jobs created than previously reported, according to the report.

The upbeat report suggests that a recent manufacturing-led slowdown in economic growth would be temporary.

Investors have been jittery as markets got off to their worst four-day start to a year and economists slashed fourth-quarter U.S. growth estimates.

Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 189 points, or 1.15 percent, with 85,832 contracts changing hands at 8:36 a.m. ET. &P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 24 points, or 1.24 percent, with 443,668 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 58.75 points, or 1.37 percent, on volume of 77,687 contracts.

This is the first jobs report since the Federal Reserve raised interest rates last month for the first time in nearly a decade.

While various Fed officials have said four rate hikes in 2016 could be possible, economists and traders are pricing in two hikes, while reducing bets on a third hike by December.

The Fed meets next on Jan. 26-27.

“(The report) is one more sign the domestic economy continues to chug along,” said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri. “Maybe today investors will focus on the fact the world has more going on than China.”

China nudged the yuan higher for the first time in nine days, while traders welcomed the country’s decision to suspend a circuit breaker which halted trading twice this week.

The CSI300 index .CSI300 and the Shanghai Composite index .SSEC both closed up 2 percent, capping off a week of tumult.

Oil prices rose modestly, boosted by the recovery in Chinese shares, but remained within reach of 11-1/2 lows.

Shares of Qorvo (QRVO.O), were down 4.9 percent at $43.39 in premarket trading, a day after the Apple (AAPL.O) supplier cut its revenue estimate for the third quarter. Apple was up 1.6 percent at $98.

Time Warner (TWX.N) was up 2.9 percent at $72.25 after the New York Post reported that shareholders could push the company to sell itself or spin off its HBO business.

FedEx (FDX.N) was up 1.4 percent at $136.50 after the company and TNT Express (TNTE.AS) said they had obtained unconditional approval from the European Commission for their proposed merger.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)


@reuters.com – Wall St. set to open higher after robust jobs report