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Dow Futures Up 95 Pts; Massive Payroll Gain Expected

U.S. stocks are seen edging higher at the open Friday, adding to the record highs of the previous session ahead of the highly anticipated April jobs report.

At 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 95 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 Futures traded 10 points, or 0.2%, higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 32 points, or 0.2%.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.9% higher Thursday, a new record high and on a four-day winning streak, while the S&P 500 was up 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite ended up 0.4%.

Thursday’s gains came after a better than expected reading of the weekly jobless claims, and this puts the focus firmly on the more comprehensive nonfarm payrolls report, due at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT), for clues on the strength of the labor market and potentially the U.S. Federal Reserve's stance on monetary policy.

The April U.S. employment report should show another solid month of job gains as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, with economists predicting the addition of around one million jobs and the unemployment rate falling to 5.8% from 6%.

In the corporate sector, pipeline giant Energy Transfer (NYSE:ET) stock rose 5.2% premarket after the company announced it made a $2.4 billion gain from the Texas winter storm.

Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON) stock rose 6.7% premarket after the exercise bike company reported a small loss, with connected fitness subscriptions growing 135% in the quarter. The company added the recall of treadmills due to safety concerns would cost just $165 million in its fourth quarter.

Shake Shack (NYSE:SHAK) stock fell 8% premarket after the burger chain’s first-quarter revenue disappointed, a sign that restaurants without a significant online presence are still suffering as consumers stay away from city centers.

Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) will also be in the spotlight, with its stock down almost 7% premarket, after the plant-based meat maker reported a wider quarterly loss than expected, as higher freight costs and pandemic-related restaurant closures hit sales.

Earnings are also scheduled from health insurer Cigna (NYSE:CI), hydrogen fuel cell developer Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) and sports betting operator DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG).

Oil prices edged lower Friday, as India posted a new record high of new cases of Covid-19, but are still heading for another weekly gain on growing confidence of a global economic recovery.

Later in the session, CFTC’s weekly report on commitments of traders and the Baker Hughes oil rig count are due.

U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% lower at $64.66 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.1% to

$68064. Both contracts are up more than 2% this week, heading for their first back-to-back weekly increases since early March.

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,821.35/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.2074.

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