Stock futures surge after soft jobs report, Apple earnings triumph

US stocks surged on Friday, as upbeat earnings from Apple (AAPL) lifted spirits and a weaker-than-expected jobs report revived bets that the Federal Reserve could cut interest rates sooner than thought.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) futures jumped 1.3%, or more than 450 points, while S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures rose 1.1%. Contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) were up roughly 1.6%. All three gauges are poised to build on sharp closing gains from Thursday.

The April jobs report painted a picture of a cooling US labor market, as employers added 175,000 jobs and the unemployment rate unexpectedly jumped to 3.9%. Economists had expected an addition of 240,000 jobs.

The report pushed up bets on a sooner-than-expected rate cut from the Fed. According to the CME FedWatch tool, traders saw a roughly 50-50 chance of a cut at its July meeting, up sharply from Thursday.

Meanwhile, Apple was the star of the corporates Friday, as its quarterly profit beat expectations and it surprised investors with better revenue out of China than estimated in the face of reports of flagging iPhone sales.

While CEO Tim Cook talked up Apple’s plans for AI development — a key focus this earnings season — it was the company’s plans for a $110 billion stock buyback, the biggest in US history, that captured the market’s attention. Apple shares rose 7% in pre-market trading, set to buoy the Dow.

The blue-chip index is also seeing a boost from heavyweight Amgen (AMGN), whose shares soared 13% as comments by its CEO suggested its obesity drug could take on market leaders from Novo Nordisk (NVO).

Read more: What the Fed rate decision means for bank accounts, CDs, loans, and credit cards

Live1 update

Fri, May 3, 2024 at 6:46 AM CDT

The valuation debate on Apple

Let the valuation debate on Apple’s (AAPL) stock begin after a soft quarter (I am calling it soft even as the sell-side is overlooking all sales declines and focusing only amazing Apple things) and ahead of some AI catalysts soon.

Loop Capital’s Ananda Baruah with a good point on this one:

“The stock isn’t “expensive” per se… but not…

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