Stock futures were higher again on FridayÂ as traders digested the December jobs report, which was worse than expected.
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The country lost 140,000 jobs in December, compared to an expected gain of 71,000, according to analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 94 points, a gain of 0.3%, while the S&P 500 was up a similar amount. The Nasdaq, which jumped above 13,000 on Thursday on the back of gains in Big Tech companies such as Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, was up 0.6%.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||31041.13||+211.73||+0.69%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||13067.479759||+326.69||+2.56%|
JOBS IN FOCUS AMID PANDEMIC
The nonfarm payroll report for December was significantly weaker than expected, though the revisions to the previous two months and stronger-than-expectedÂ earnings softened the blow a bit. In the prior two months, the U.S. added an additional 135,000 jobs.
Average hourly earnings rose 5.1% year-over-year, compared to expectations for a rise of 4.5%. The unemployment rate came in at 6.7%, compared to expectations of 6.8%.Â Though elevated, that’s down from 14.7% when the coronavirus pandemic sent the U.S. into a lockdown and the highest print since record-keeping began in 1948.
The labor force participation rate matched estimates at 61.5%.
On Wednesday, ADP reported the U.S. lost 123,000 jobs in December, compared to a gain of 88,000.
The U.S. surpassed 21.5 million cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 4,000 Americans died of the virus on Thursday, a new record.
APPLE CAR TALKÂ SENDS HYUNDAI SURGING
Though rumors of an Apple-branded car have existed for years, South Korean automaker Hyundai confirmed on Friday it was in early talks with the U.S. tech giant, lifting shares of Hyundai 25%.
“Apple and Hyundai are in discussions but they are at an early stage and nothing has been decided,” Hyundai said in a statement.
The company later issued a regulatory filing, noting it was “getting requests for cooperation on joint development of autonomous electric vehicles from various companies.”
|GM||GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY||43.32||+0.34||+0.79%|
On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that an Apple-branded car, which would compete with Tesla, GM and other electric vehicles, would not be ready until at least 2025.
In other asset classes, bitcoin traded aboveÂ the $41,000 level in morning trading, doubling in less than a month, pushing its market value above $1 trillion for the first time.
Oil also rose, with West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbing to $51.31Â per-barrel level, while gold fell more than 1% to $1,891.90Â an ounce.