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Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Friday

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, Jan. 4: 1. Powell

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, Jan. 4:

1. Powell in focus for clarification of Fed policy stance

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell could provide further clarification on the monetary policy outlook in a scheduled appearance on Friday.

Powell will participate in a panel discussion with former Fed chiefs Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke at the American Economic Association and Allied Social Science Association 2019 Annual Meeting scheduled for 10:15 AM ET (15:15 GMT).

The current Fed chair has continued to advertise the central bank's "uncertainty," using the word four times at his Dec. 19 news conference following the Fed's rate hike at its last policy meeting of the year.

Analysts do not anticipate that Powell will provide a brisk shift in the outlook, but markets are hoping for signs of flexibility with the current forecast to raise rates twice this year.

Read more: USD/JPY: Traders Regroup Ahead Of NFP -Matt Simpson

2. Employment report expected to show continued strength

The December jobs report due at 8:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT) is expected to give yet another indication of the strength of the U.S. labor market.

The jobless rate is forecast to hold steady at 3.7% with the creation of nonfarm payrolls expected to increase to 178,000.

Even though job creation is slowing, 2018 is on track to be the best year for growth since 2015 and the slowdown is chalked up to a lack of available workers rather than weak demand.

3. Stocks bounce on hopes for U.S.-China trade talk

Global stocks got a boost on Friday as China’s commerce industry confirmed that the Beijing and Washington would hold vice ministerial level trade negotiations on Jan. 7-8.

Although shares in Asia had been hammered by the sharp decline on Wall Street a day earlier, the news brought a sigh of relief to markets on hopes that progress could be made on the dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

China’s Shanghai Composite closed 2% higher while European stocks also got a boost from the confirmation.

U.S. futures pointed to a rebound on Wall Street with the Dow on track for triple-digit jump. At 5:50 AM ET (10:50 GMT), the blue-chip Dow futures rose 288 points, or 1.27%, S&P 500 futures rose 33 points, or 1.35%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures traded up 107 points, or 1.74%.

4. Trump set to meet with Congress to negotiate border security, end to shutdown

As a partial U.S. government shutdown hit the two-week mark on Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump was set to meet with congressional leaders to work on an end to the impasse.

The meeting was scheduled for 11:30 AM ET (16:30 GMT) at the White House.

Trump has made clear that he will not sign any measures to put an end to the shutdown if funding is not provided to build the southern wall border with Mexico, a position House Speaker Nancy Pelosi staunchly opposes.

5. Oil prices rise ahead of U.S. inventories

Oil prices headed higher on Friday as investors looked ahead to weekly data on U.S. crude inventories.

The gain in oil prices came after China’s Commerce Ministry confirmed in a statement that the U.S. and China would begin another round of trade talks next week.

U.S. crude oil futures rose 93 cents, or 1.97%, to $48.02 by 6:13 AM ET (11:13 GMT), while Brent oil traded up $1.24, or 2.22%, to $57.19.

The Energy Information Administration will release weekly inventory data at 11:00 AM (16:00 GMT) amid expectations for a draw of 3.1 million barrels.

The report is released later than normal due to the New Year’s holiday.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.