Wall Street set for lower opening as U.S. jobs report looms
U.S. stock futures were trading lower on Friday as traders braced for monthly jobs data from the Labor Department. The report is expected to show that the U.S. job market imploded in March as the country shut down because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Analysts polled by FactSet predict that the March nonfarm payrolls report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, will show American employers cut about 150,000 jobs. The unemployment rate is expected to tick up to 3.7% from 3.5% in February.
By 5:30 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 286 points, or 1.34% to 20,987. The S&P 500 futures dropped 31 points, or 1.23% to 2,485.5 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures lost 92.25 points, or 1.21% to 7,535.
Crude extends gains on potential production cuts
Crude futures were rallying on Friday morning after President Donald Trump tweeted that he expected Saudi Arabia and Russia to agree to cut oil output by millions of barrels a day.
In a tweet early Thursday, Trump said: “Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!”
“Could be as high as 15 Million Barrels. Good (GREAT) news for everyone!” he added in another tweet.
By 5:30 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $25.98 a barrel, up 66 cents, or 2.61%. International Brent crude futures gained $2.02, or 6.75% to $31.96 a barrel.
Tesla stock soars on upbeat deliveries
Shares of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are surging after the company said that fiscal 2020 first-quarter deliveries of its electric vehicles grew 40% from the year-ago quarter, despite the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. and China.
In a news release late Thursday, Tesla said it produced 102,672 vehicles and delivered 88,400 vehicles, up from 63,000 during the same period a year ago. Analysts had forecast 89,000 vehicle deliveries during the period, according to data compiled by FactSet.
“Our Shanghai factory continued to achieve record levels of production, despite significant setbacks,” the company said, without providing any details. As of this writing, Tesla stock was up $63.53, or 13.98% to $518 a share in premarket trade Friday.