U.S. Stocks May Open Lower On Disappointing Jobs Data

(RTTNews) - Stocks are likely to move to the downside in early trading on Friday, giving back ground after ending the previous session mostly higher. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the market, with the Dow futures down by 93 points.

The downward momentum on Wall Street comes after a report from the Labor Department showed employment in the U.S. fell much more than expected in the month of March.

The report said employment plunged by 701,000 jobs in March after jumping by an upwardly revised 275,000 jobs in February.

Economists had expected employment to slump by 100,000 jobs compared to the addition of 273,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

With the much bigger than expected drop in employment, the unemployment rate surged up to 4.4 percent in March from 3.5 percent in February. The unemployment rate had been expected to climb to 3.8 percent.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Institute for Supply Management is scheduled to release its report on service sector activity in the month of March.

The ISM's non-manufacturing index is expected to tumble to 44.0 in March after climbing to 57.3 in February, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in service sector activity.

Stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading day on Thursday before finish the day significantly higher. With the upward move on the day, the major averages partly offset the steep losses posted in the previous session.

The major averages moved to the upside going into the close, ending the day firmly in positive territory. The Dow surged up 469.93 points or 2.2 percent to 21,413.44, the Nasdaq jumped 126.73 points or 1.7 percent to 7,487.31 and the S&P 500 spiked 56.40 points or 2.3 percent to 2,526.90.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a lackluster performance during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed just above the unchanged line, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index has edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 0.9 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are surging up $2.88 to $28.20 a barrel after skyrocketing $5.01 to $25.32 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after spiking $46.30 to $1,637.70 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are climbing $5.80 to $1,643.50 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 108.46 yen versus the 107.91 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0788 compared to yesterday's $1.0858.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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