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Futures Higher as Investors Digest Jobs Report



Futures for equities in Canada’s largest centre edged slightly higher on Friday ahead of a crucial jobs report in Canada and revised inflation figures in the United States, while falling gold prices capped gains.

The TSX Composite finished lower 49.54 points to 20,919.64.

March futures edged up 0.1% Friday.

In corporate news, Magna International forecast its 2024 profit below estimates on Friday.

Pipeline operator Enbridge reported its fourth-quarter profit below analysts’ estimates.

The Canadian dollar moved up 0.05 cents to 74.34 cents U.S.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reports the economy created 37,000 jobs in January, following three months of little change. The unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 5.7%, the first decline since December 2022.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange poked up 2.17 points Thursday to 549.49.

ON WALLSTREET

Stock futures were around flat Friday morning after the S&P 500 crossed the historic 5,000-point milestone for the first time during intraday trading.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials index gained 26 points, or 0.1%, to 38,850.

Futures for the S&P 500 moved higher 7.75 points, or 0.2%, at 5,025.50.

Futures for the NASDAQ heightened 49.5 points, or 0.3%, to 17,918.75.

The large-cap benchmark reached a high of 5,000.40 during Thursday’s regular trading before closing less than three points below the key 5,000 threshold. The S&P 500 first crossed 4,000 on April 1, 2021, so it took almost three years to add the last 1,000 points. A solid earnings season, easing inflation data and a resilient economy have powered the market rally into 2024, with the S&P 500 up 4.8% on the year.

The equity benchmark is up 0.8% this week, on track to post its fifth straight weekly gain. The blue-chip Dow and the NASDAQ Composite have gained 0.2% and 1.1% this week, respectively, also headed for a five-week win streak.

A total of 319 companies in the S&P 500 have reported quarterly earnings so far, and 80.6% of them reported above analyst expectations. That compares to a 67% beat rate in a typical quarter since 1994.

Pinterest shares dropped 9% before the bell after the image-sharing company issued a weaker-than-expected forecast and missed revenue estimates, while PepsiCo fell 2% on mixed results. Take-Two Interactive slumped 8% on a disappointing outlook.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 poked 0.1% higher Friday to a 34-year peak, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index sank 0.8% after a half-day of trading in honour of the Lunar New Year.

Oil prices docked 19 cents to $76.03 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices fell $4.70 to $2,043,20 U.S. an ounce.



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