Following the release of upbeat jobs data, stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Friday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the , with the Dow futures up by 18 points.

The upward momentum on Wall Street comes following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing a bigger than expected increase in employment in the month of June.

The report said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 213,000 jobs in June after surging up by an upwardly revised 244,000 jobs in May.

Economists had expected employment to climb by 195,000 jobs compared to the addition of 223,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the stronger than expected job growth, the unemployment rate rose to 4.0 percent in June from 3.8 percent in May. The unemployment rate was expected to be unchanged.

Stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday, as trading resumed following the July 4th holiday on Wednesday.

The major averages fluctuated over the course of the trading session before closing firmly in positive territory. The Dow climbed 181.92 points or 0.8 percent to 24,356.84, the Nasdaq jumped 83.75 points or 1.1 percent to 7,586.43 and the S&P 500 advanced 23.39 points or 0.9 percent to 2,736.61.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.1 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed by 0.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.1 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.2 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.58 to $72.36 a barrel after plunging $1.20 to $72.94 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after climbing $5.30 to $1,258.80 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slipping $1.60 to $1,257.20 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 110.51 yen compared to the 110.64 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1747compared to yesterday's $1.1691.

by P2PNews Staff Writer

editorial@p2pnews.com

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