The TSX is poised to bounce back from its 109-point loss on Thursday, as U.S. jobs figures this morning did little to dampen spirits after most overseas markets rose overnight.
U.S. stock index futures have been edging up this morning and held onto those gains as the U.S. employment report showed 157,000 new jobs last month – close to expectations. It provided further evidence that the American economy is continuing on the track to better times, which should continue to underpin stock values across the globe.
In Asia, the Nikkei rose nearly half a percentage point after the yen fell to multi-year lows against the euro and the U.S. dollar, helping to provide a boost to the country's critical export sector.
Shares on the Shanghai stock exchange jumped 1.4 per cent after two separate surveys showed improvement in China's manufacturing sector, helped by a build-up in new orders. China's Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 50.4 for January, signifying expansion but down slightly from 50.6 in December. More upbeat was HSBC's final PMI index reading of 52.3, which rose from the previous month's 51.5 retreat.
Similar purchasing managers' data were released in Europe this morning, which indicated the region's manufacturing sector contracted at the slowest pace in nearly a year. While not overly rosy, the report suggests the economic downturn in Europe may have at least bottomed. Euro zone inflation data were also released this morning, showing an increase of 2 per cent in January from a year ago. Inflation there is now near the European Central Bank's target of close to, but below 2 per cent, and may give the ECB room to cut interest rates again to stimulate the economy.
Now, here's a look at what else is going on this morning:
U.S. futures: S&P 500 +0.4 per cent; Dow +0.4 per cent; Nasdaq +0.5 per cent
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index -0.03 per cent
Shanghai composite index +1.41 per cent
Japan's Nikkei +0.47 per cent
London’s FTSE 100 +0.53 per cent
Germany’s DAX +0.27 per cent
France's CAC 40 +1.14 per cent
WTI (Nymex Mar) -0.12 per cent at $97.37 (U.S.) a barrel
Gold (Comex Apr) +0.71 per cent at $1,673.80 (U.S.) an ounce
Copper (Comex Mar) -0.1 per cent at $3.73 (U.S.) a pound
Canadian dollar down 0.0021, or 0.21 per cent, at $1.0008 (U.S.)
ECONOMIC INDICATORS TO WATCH:
The U.S. Labour Department reported that 157,000 jobs were created in January, just shy of the 160,000 that economists predicted. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.9 per cent from 7.8 per cent.
(955 a.m. ET) University of Michigan releases U.S. consumer sentiment index. A reading of 71.5 is forecast by economists.
(10 a.m. ET) The U.S. Institute for Supply Management issues its manufacturing index for January. Economists expect a reading of 50.5.
(10 a.m. ET) U.S. releases construction spending data for December. Economists expect a rebound to 0.8 per cent growth from contraction of 0.3 per cent the previous month.
Motor vehicle sales released throughout the day.
STOCKS TO WATCH:
Exxon Mobil shares were up 0.6 per cent in the premarket after reporting its fourth-quarter profit rose to a five-year high. Per-share profit beat Street estimates by 20 cents.
Research In Motion Ltd. shares are up 2 per cent in the premarket, suggesting the stock could be in store for a mild recovery today after steep losses this week.
Reuters reported that Dell Inc. is close to an agreement to sell itself to a consortium led by founder Michael Dell and the private equity group Silver Lake Partners. Dell shares are up 6 per cent in the premarket.
Mattel Inc. reported fourth-quarter earnings fell 17 per cent because of a litigation charge as sales rose 4.7 per cent. Shars are down 2 per cent in the premarket.
Domtar Corp.’s fourth-quarter profit fell sharply to 54 cents a share from $1.63 a share a year ago on weak pulp and paper prices and higher energy and fibre costs.
Other earnings today include Brookfield Office Properties
Inc.; Chevron Corp.; Exxon Mobil Corp.; and Tyson Foods Inc.
THIS MORNING'S TOP INVESTING READS ON THE WEB:
Should retirees sell their stocks now given the recent rally? Experts are divided.
PIMCO’s Bill Gross is apparently doubtful that the so-called great rotation out of bonds and into stocks is actually happening.
Two recent developments have made the recent rally in crude oil particularly unusual.
Natural gas prices is a good investing bet for early February if you believe in seasonal trends.
Relying on January to set the tone for massive stock market gains this year could leave investors in the cold.
The premarket report is constantly updated to reflect the latest news developments and market moves. For instant headlines on breaking economic and corporate news in the premarket, follow Darcy Keith on Twitter at @eyeonequities