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Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Friday

5 key factors for the markets on Friday

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, November 2:

1. Job creation and wage inflation in the spotlight

All eyes will focus on the monthly U.S. employment report that the Labor Department will release at 8:30 AM ET (14:30 GMT) on Friday.

The consensus forecast is that the data will show jobs growth of 193,000, after adding 134,000 positions in September, while the unemployment rate is seen inching up to 3.8% from 3.7%.

However, most of the attention will likely be on average hourly earnings figures, which are expected to rise 3.1% from a year earlier, quicker than the 2.8% increase a month earlier.

Data released last week showed the U.S. economy grew at a 3.5% annualized rate, keeping growth on track to hit the Trump administration's 3%-target this year.

The Federal Reserve remains on course to raise interest rates again in December, despite a recent tightening in financial market conditions brought about by a stock market sell-off and a rise in U.S. Treasury yields.

2. Apple sinks 5% after disappointing guidance

Shares in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 5% in pre-market trade on Friday after the company’s fiscal first quarter guidance missed expectations.

The company said it expected revenue of $89 billion to $93 billion in fiscal first quarter, with the midpoint lower than current consensus estimates for $92.9 billion.

Gross margins came in at 38.2%, just below forecasts of 38.3%. Looking ahead, Apple saw gross margins in a range of 38% to 38.5%, shy of the Street's expectations for 38.6%.

In other earnings of note, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) will all report ahead of Friday’s open.

3. Trump optimistic over trade with China

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he had a “long and very good conversation” with Chinese President Xi Jinping with a “a heavy emphasis on trade”.

“Those discussions are moving along nicely with meetings being scheduled at the G-20 in Argentina,” he said.

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Trump wants to get a deal done at that meeting and has already asked officials to start drafting possible terms.

4. U.S. stocks set to open higher as buying wave spreads

Trump’s optimistic tone on U.S.-China trade sparked a relief rally that pushed the Dow up triple digits on Thursday and buying enthusiasm quickly spread to Asia, where stocks jumped to three-week highs. China’s Shanghai Composite closed up 2.7%, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 close behind with gains of 2.6%.

European stocks followed suit with the benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 rising more than 1%.

While waiting for the jobs report and despite the sell-off in Apple, U.S. futures pointed to a continuation of the upward trend. At 5:45 AM ET (9:45 GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures gained 200 points, or 0.79%, S&P 500 futures rose 17 points, or 0.62%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures edged forward 5 points, or 0.06%.

5. Oil prices mixed after report of Iran sanction waivers; data on U.S. drilling activity on tap

Oil prices saw mixed trade on Friday as traders weighed optimism that the U.S. and China could resolve their trade differences against a report that Washington had granted several countries waivers on Iran sanctions.

U.S. crude oil futures lost 5 cents, or 0.08%, to $63.64 by 5:46AM ET (9:46 GMT), while Brent oil traded up 17 cents, or 0.23%, to $73.06.

Both barrels have dropped nearly 6% this week as worries of oversupply hit prices.

Saudi Arabia pledged earlier in the month to raise oil output to offset the fall from Iranian exports expected to be caused by the U.S. sanctions that go into effect on Nov. 4, while Russia, also said on Saturday that there is no reason for the country to cut its production levels.

In that light, investors will pay close attention to the weekly rig count data from Baker Hughes at 1:00 PM ET (17:00 GMT). Last Friday’s data, an early indicator of future U.S. output, rose by two to 875, the highest since March 2015.

The U.S. has already become the world’s top crude producer, beating Russia, with output in August that reached a record 11.346 million barrels per day (bpd), a jump of 2.1 million barrels from August 2017, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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