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Apple results help sentiment ahead of payrolls


Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Friday, helped by solid earnings from tech giant Apple ahead of the release of the widely-watched monthly jobs report.

At 06:40 ET (10:40 GMT), the Dow futures contract was up 140 points, or 0.4%, S&P 500 futures traded 23 points, or 0.6% higher, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 80 points, or 0.6%.

The main indices closed sharply lower Thursday, pressured by concerns that weakness in the country’s banking system will result in a credit crunch, slowing economic growth even if the Federal Reserve pauses its year-long monetary tightening cycle.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed almost 300 points, or 0.9% lower, while the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.7%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.5%.

The three averages are also all on course to post weekly losses of more than 2% – the worst performance for all three since March 10.

That said, sentiment improved after the close on Wall Street Thursday when Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the largest U.S. company by market value, recorded a surprise rise in iPhone sales despite a slump in the global smartphone market, making notable inroads in India and other newer markets.

The pressure on the smaller regional U.S. banks appears to be easing as the week comes to an end, with investors taking advantage of some battered valuations.

Western Alliance (NYSE:WAL) stock traded 12% higher premarket after the Arizona-based bank released data showing that its deposits have ticked up since the end of March.

PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ:PACW) stock also climbed 13% premarket, bouncing after its shares plummeted by more than 50% on Thursday after the Beverly Hills-based lender had confirmed it was exploring its strategic options, suggesting it was under extreme pressure.

More earnings are expected from the likes of entertainment giant Warner Bros Discovery (NASDAQ:WBD) and insurance company Cigna (NYSE:CI).

Looking at the economic data slate, the main focus will be on the monthly nonfarm payrolls report, which is expected to show that job growth in the U.S. fell in April to its slowest pace since 2020.

Economists estimate that 180,000 roles were added last month, down from 236,000 in March, while the U.S. unemployment rate is also projected to tick up to 3.6%.

Oil prices rose Friday, but remained on course for a third straight weekly loss as concerns slowing growth, likely exacerbated by the turmoil in the U.S. banking system, will hit crude demand.

By 06:40 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 2.6% higher at $70.37 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 2.6% to $74.36.

For the week, Brent was set to close down over 6%, while WTI was set to close 8% lower.

Additionally, gold futures edged 0.5% lower to $2,045.25/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1025.

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