Stocks - U.S. Futures Rise on Chinese Factory Bounce; Payrolls Eyed

1 November 2019, 17: 44
© Reuters.

U.S. stock futures were largely higher but within recent ranges early Friday in New York, as a welcome bounce in Chinese factory activity in October ensured a positive tone while traders wait for the all-important U.S. labor market report.

 

By 7:10 AM ET, Dow futures were up 45 points or 0.2%, with the S&P 500 Futures and the Nasdaq 100 futures contracts rising in parallel. The latter continues to be well supported by heavyweight earnings this week and an optimistic outlook for 2020 for the chip sector from Korean bellwether Samsung (KS:005930).

 

 

However, there's little chance of a fresh run at new record highs ahead of the labor market report, where the headline nonfarm hiring number is expected to fall to 89,000 from 136,000 in September. Analysts warn that number is likely to be skewed by the General Motors' strike, but the long-term trend has inevitably been to a slowdown in hiring as the pool of available labor shrinks, with unemployment at a 50-year low.

 

 

Among companies reporting Friday, Colgate-Palmolive reported earnings and revenue numbers largely in line with expectations, while AIG returned to profit on the back of lower catastrophe-related losses and said it was on track to deliver a return on equity of over 10% by the end of 2021. Berkshire Hathaway is also due to report before the open.

 

 

The most keenly-awaited earnings will arguably be those of Exxon Mobil and Chevron, which will update on their outlook for 2020 as well as on how they've coped with the decline in oil prices over the summer. Europe's two biggest oil majors BP (LON:BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSa) both warned earlier this week about the impact of the global economic slowdown on their businesses.

 

Elsewhere, the dollar weakened on hopes that the global economy may be bottoming out. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell to a 10-day low overnight before rebounding slightly to be down 0.1% at 97.100.

U.S. Crude oil futures rose 0.3 to $54.45 a barrel, while gold futures eased 0.1% after strong gains on Thursday to $1.512.75 a troy ounce.