Stock futures rose early Friday as investors awaited a key November jobs report to gauge the pace of labour market recovery in the face of a worsening pandemic.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials Index jumped 116 points, or 0.4%, at 30,048.
Futures for the S&P 500 gained 10.75 points, or 0.3%, at 3,667.25.
Futures for the NASDAQ Composite flew 31 points, or 0.3%, to 12,493.25.
Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 backed off 0.2% Friday, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 0.4%.
The rate of job gains likely slowed in November due to the spike in new coronavirus cases that led to fresh lockdown restrictions. The U.S. economy is expected to have added 440,000 jobs, compared 638,000 new payrolls added in October, according to Dow Jones. The unemployment rate is forecast to drop to 6.7% from 6.9%.
The latest weekly jobless claims hit a pandemic-era low, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. First-time claims for unemployment benefits totaled 712,000 last week, compared with 787,000 a week earlier and the Dow Jones estimate of 780,000. Still, the claims remained well above the pre-pandemic record.
On Thursday, the stock market was hit by a report suggesting troubles with Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine rollout. Major averages swiftly fell to their session lows after Dow Jones reported said Pfizer expects to ship half of the Covid-19 vaccines it originally planned for this year due to supply-chain problems.
Still, Pfizer and BioNtech are on track to roll out 1.3 billion vaccines in 2021 and the 50 million dose shortfall this year will be covered as production ramps up, the report said.
Elsewhere, investors closely monitored progress toward a stimulus deal as lawmakers make a strong push to break a stalemate over how to boost an economy that continues to be hurt by the pandemic.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on the phone Thursday for the first time since at least the presidential election. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer backed a bipartisan $908 billion stimulus package, while McConnell released his own roughly $500-billion plan.
Oil prices picked up 84 cents to $46.12 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices brightened $4.10 to $1,845.20 U.S.