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US STOCKS-Wall St set for record open as stimulus hopes outweigh dire jobs report

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Devik Jain
·2 min read
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Nonfarm payrolls fall in December

* Moderna jumps on UK nod to COVID-19 vaccine

* Micron jumps on upbeat second-quarter revenue forecast

* Futures up: Dow 0.18%, S&P 0.22%, Nasdaq 0.45% (Adds comment; updates share prices)

By Devik Jain

Jan 8 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes were set to scale new highs on Friday, as hopes of more economic stimulus to ride out a pandemic-led downturn eclipsed concerns over a significant loss of pace in labor market recovery.

The U.S. government's employment report showed the economy shed jobs for the first time in eight months in December as the country buckled under an onslaught of COVID-19 infections.

However, with a backstop of nearly $900 billion in stimulus approved by the government last week and expectations of a bigger fiscal package and infrastructure spending under President-elect Joe Biden's administration, Wall Street's main indexes have surged to all-time highs.

"The fact that there is a optimism on a vaccine rollout plan and the potential for more relief aid to come will help to offset any risks that we're seeing in softening economic data in the short-term," said Brian Vendig, president and managing executive at MJP Wealth Advisors in Westport, Connecticut.

The S&P 500 closed above 3,800 points for the first time on Thursday, while the Dow and the Nasdaq are on track for fourth straight weekly gains.

Some Wall Street bankers, however, expect a pull back in the near-term as exuberance from unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus have led to "frothy" asset prices.

Market participants looked past mounting calls among congressional Democrats for impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time, two days after his false claims of election fraud helped encourage a mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol.

At 08:34 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 55 points, or 0.18%, S&P 500 E-minis were up 8.5 points, or 0.22%, and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 58 points, or 0.45%.

Moderna Inc added 1.6% in premarket trading after Britain's medical regulator approved the drugmaker's COVID-19 vaccine for use and agreed to purchase an additional 10 million doses of the shot.

Among individual stocks, Micron Technology Inc jumped 4% after the chipmaker forecast second-quarter revenue above estimates as a global shift to remote work and a recent uptick in 5G smartphone adoption drove demand for its chips.

U.S.-listed shares of Baidu Inc gained 8% on plans to form a company to make smart electric vehicles, according to two sources familiar with the matter. (Reporting by Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)