U.S. stock futures were slightly higher closer to the open, having been solidly in the red earlier, after more jobs were added to the U.S. economy in December than had been expected.
Non-farm payrolls rose by 252,000 in December, exceeding the 245,000 consensus from Econoday. For November, the figure was revised upwards to 353,000 from 321,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 5.6%, beating the 5.7% consensus estimate. In November the unemployment rate was at 5.8%.
Meanwhile, Chicago’s Fed President Charles Evans said Friday that the Federal Reserve should not raise rates before 2016. He also said that unemployment under 5.25% equals full employment.
At 10:00 a.m., wholesale inventory data are expected to show a 0.3% increase in November from October. The consensus ranges from a 0.3% drop to a 0.7% increase.
In equities, Agenus ( AGEN ) jumped 26% before the market opened after announcing a license, development and commercialization agreement focusing on immune-therapeutics with pharmaceutical company Incyte ( INCY ). INCY was unchanged in recent pre-market trade.
At the other end of the spectrum, Conatus Pharmaceuticals ( CNAT ) dropped 41% after releasing results from a liver treatment study. While the Emricasan drug was well tolerated,, the independent Data Monitoring Committee, which recommended continuation of the acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) trial to completion, also recognized the logistical challenges of conducting a controlled trial in this patient population and agreed with the company’s decision to an early termination of the trial.
U.S. PRE-MARKET INDICATORS
-Dow Jones Industrial up 0.02%
-S&P 500 futures up 0.09%
-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.25%
-Nasdaq-100 Pre-Market Indicator up 0.19%
Nikkei up 0.18%
Hang Seng up 0.35%
Shanghai Composite down 0.35%
FTSE-100 down 0.43%
DAX-30 down 0.29%
PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH
(+) Large cap tech: unchanged to higher
(+/-) Chip stocks: mixed
(+) Software stocks: unchanged to higher
(+/-) Hardware stocks: mixed
(+/-) Internet stocks: mixed
(+/-) Drug stocks: mixed
(+/-) Financial stocks: mixed
(-) Retail stocks: unchanged to lower
(+) Industrial stocks: unchanged to higher
(+) Airlines: higher
(+/-) Autos: mixed
(+) CERE (+25.0%) Multi-gene combinations in corn achieves 35% yield advantage
(+) NVAX (+%) Janney initiates coverage with neutral rating, $ 11 PT
(+) INFY (+6.7%) Fiscal Q3 tops views
(+) PTLA (+11.2%) Study shows antidote to anticoagulant effect meets primary endpoint
(+) HURC (+5.0%) Q4 earnings more than double
(+) AYI (+0.9%) Fiscal Q1 tops views; co bullish about prospects
(+) FOLD (+0.7%) Janney initiates coverage with buy rating, $ 11 PT
(-) SAN (-5.0%) Details $ 8.8 billion share sale plan, cuts dividend
(-) SBLK (-19.5%) Plans $ 200 million share sale
(-) FIVE (-14.6%) Sees Q4 earnings, sales below views
(-) WTSL (-32.1%) Reportedly could file for bankruptcy next week
(-) BBBY (-4.6%) Fiscal Q3 profit falls, revenue misses views
(-) ARGS (-35.7%) HIV treatment fails to meet primary endpoint
(-) STLY (-5.3%) Finds accounting error that could be material to 2014
(-) M (-2.1%) Reports Nov-Dec sales; details restructuring