Investing.com - Wall Street is expected to push higher at the open Friday, judging by the U.S. equity futures, as turn their attention away from the potential for conflict in the Middle East and more towards the likelihood of global growth with a trade deal between the U.S. and China.
Futures for the S&P 500 were trading 9 points, or 0.3%, higher by 0700 ET (1200 GMT), futures for the Nasdaq were 39 points, or 0.4%, higher, while the DJI futures contract was up 65 points, or 0.2%.
As fears of major military action in the Middle East dimmed with the governing bodies of both the U.S. and Iran downplaying the recent tensions, investors have been boosted by the news that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s chief trade negotiator will travel to Washington early next week to sign a phase one trade deal with the U.S..
The U.S. launched a trade war against Beijing over a year ago over allegations of unfair trade practices. The phase one deal is expected to cut tariffs and boost Chinese purchases of U.S. farm, energy and manufactured goods while addressing some disputes over intellectual property.
That said, investors will also be keeping a wary eye on the release of the official U.S. employment report before the Wall Street open. This economic release has always been watched carefully by the market given the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate to consider both inflation and employment growth.
It is expected to show nonfarm payrolls rose by 164,000 in December, according to economists’ forecasts compiled by Investing.com.
The unemployment rate is seen remaining at 3.5%, while average hourly earnings, an indicator of wage inflation, are forecast to have risen 0.3% for the month.