Futures climb as Sino-U.S. tensions ease

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday as signs of improving relations between the United States and China boosted sentiment ahead of a key jobs report that is likely to show a historic surge in unemployment due to coronavirus-induced lockdowns.

After President Donald Trump rattled investors last week by threatening new tariffs against China, Beijing said on Friday that both sides agreed to improve the atmosphere for the implementation of a Phase 1 trade deal.

Later in the day, official data is likely to show the U.S. economy lost a staggering 22 million jobs in April, in what would be the steepest plunge in payrolls since the Great Depression.

But with several states reopening businesses this month, financial markets have so far largely ignored data underlining the business damage inflicted in April and have pinned their hopes on a revival in supply chains and consumer spending.

Wall Street ended higher on Thursday with the Nasdaq recouping all its losses for 2020, powered by a clutch of upbeat earnings and gains for tech stocks that have proven largely resilient in the broader selloff.

However, the S&P 500 remains about 15% below its record high with investors still fearing a deep recession due to the outbreak. On Thursday, financial markets began pricing in a negative U.S. interest rate environment for the first time ever.

Among early movers, Disney rose 2.6% as tickets for the earliest days of Shanghai Disneyland’s re-opening in China sold out rapidly.

Uber Technologies Inc jumped 7.3% as the company said its ride service bookings slowly recovered in recent weeks and that it expects a coronavirus-related slowdown will delay the goal of becoming profitable by a matter of quarters, not years.

At 05:58 a.m. EDT, Dow e-minis were up 263 points, or 1.1%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 32 points, or 1.11% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 94.25 points, or 1.03%

SPDR S&P 500 ETFs were up 1.32%.

The S&P 500 index closed up 1.15% at 2,881.19​ on Thursday.

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