Spirits have been dampened just as the North American trading day is about to get underway, but it still looks like a higher opening. Stock futures are holding onto most of their earlier gains, even as the U.S. employment picture wasn't nearly as bright as economists had expected in August. European stock markets came off earlier gains, but are still positive.
Nonfarm payrolls expanded by 96,000 in the month, falling shy of the 125,000 forecast. The unemployment rate did drop two notches, however, to 8.1 per cent. But job reports for June and July were revised lower.
One bright side for stocks is that the weak report may lift hopes that the Fed will step in with a third round of quantitative easing. That thought boosted gold back above the $1,700 mark as the U.S. employment figures came in.
Earlier, Asian markets overnight roared with enthusiasm, with many indexes up over 3 per cent. This came on the heels of the S&P 500 surging to its highest level since January 2008 on Thursday after the European Central Bank came through with its bond-buying program.
Intel this morning isn't helping out the bulls. It cut its third-quarter revenue outlook on slowing demand.
Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar is up close to half a cent, at 1.0220 per U.S, after Statistics Canada reported that 34,300 jobs were created in August.
Here's the run down of what else you need to know as the investing day gets underway.
Futures: Dow +0.3 per cent, S&P 500 +0.4 per cent, Nasdaq +0.1 per cent
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index +3.0 per cent
Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 +3.7 per cent
Japan’s Nikkei +2.2 per cent
London’s FTSE 100 +0.09 per cent
France’s CAC 40 +0.9 per cent
Germany’s DAX index +0.6 per cent
WTI (Nymex Oct) +0.3 per cent at $95.83 (U.S.) a barrel
Gold (Comex Dec) +1.1 per cent at $1,723 (U.S.) an ounce
Copper (Comex Dec) +2.0 per cent at $3.59 (U.S.) a pound
Canadian dollar up 0.0044, or 0.4 per cent, at 1.022 (U.S.)
STOCKS AND ECONOMIC INDICATORS TO WATCH:
Pre-market trading in Lululemon Athletica has been volatile after the company reported second-quarter earnings per share of 39 cents, which beat the analyst consensus of 31 cents. It also boosted guidance. After initially dipping amid some worries about an inventory build-up, the stock is now up 3.4 per cent.
Intel shares are down about 2.5 per cent in the pre-market after cutting its third-quarter revenue forecast due to softer-than-expected demand and difficult economic conditions.
Smith & Wesson Holding is up 20% in pre-market trading after raising its guidance late Thursday
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