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Futures rise for Apple, Amgen boost; vacancy details at hand




Futures rise for Apple, Amgen boost;  vacancy details at hand

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday, boosted by positive company updates from Apple and Amgen, as traders brace for a key jobs report for a clearer view of the labor market and interest rate path.

Apple rose 5.8%, outpacing other mega-cap stocks in premarket trading after the iPhone maker unveiled a record $110 billion stock buyback program, beating modest expectations for quarterly earnings and forecasts.

Amgen climbed 13.5% as the biotech company said it was very encouraged after completing an interim analysis of its interim study of experimental weight-loss drug MariTide and as it reported first-quarter earnings.

Sentiment also remained upbeat as investors weighed the U.S. Federal Reserve’s more easing-than-expected interest rate guidance at the latest policy meeting, helping U.S. stocks rebound on Thursday.

However, losses from stronger economic data such as labor costs and some meager gains from chipmakers in the past week have left all three major stock indexes posting weekly losses.

The focus will now shift to the key nonfarm payrolls report for April, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, for a clearer picture of labor demand in the U.S. economy and its impact on the monetary policy trajectory.

The Labor Department report is expected to show that U.S. job growth likely slowed to still-solid levels in April, while wages continue to rise steadily.

“Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has probably achieved what he set out to do, which is beat the hawkish and dovish drums at the same time,” said Raffi Boyadjian, chief investment analyst at forex broker XM.

“The April jobs report will be critical in underscoring the Fed’s dovish narrative… whether the labor market can continue to create new jobs at a dizzying pace without fueling a wage-price spiral is highly questionable.”

Money markets see a 61.9% chance that the first rate cut will happen in September, while pricing in a higher 73.8% chance for November, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.

At 5:25 a.m. ET, the Dow E-minis were up 266 points, or 0.69%, the S&P 500 E-minis were up 14.25 points, or 0.28%, and the Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 98.25 points, or 0.56%.

Block rose 7.1% after the Jack Dorsey-led fintech payments company raised its full-year adjusted core profit forecast and unveiled plans to add more bitcoins to its balance sheet.

Expedia fell 10.3% after the online travel agency cut its full-year revenue growth forecast as gross bookings were hit by a slowdown on its vacation rental platform.

(Reporting by Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)