Stock futures rose sharply Friday as investors prepared themselves for the upcoming April jobs report, due Friday morningFutures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 322 points, or 0.84%. S&P 500 futures rose 0.41%, while Nasdaq 100 futures advanced about 0.7%. In extended trading, Apple advanced more than 6% after it announced a $110 billion share repurchase and a top -and bottom-line beat. Biotech Amgen surged 14% after posting better-than-expected earnings and revenue numbers, while Cloudflare lost 14% after reporting weak guidance on revenue for the full year. The three major U.S. stock indexes ended Thursday higher. The S&P 500 popped 0.91%, while the Dow gained 0.85%. The Nasdaq Composite outperformed and gained 1.51%. Despite Thursday’s bounce, the major averages remain on pace to end the week in negative territory. The S&P 500 is off by 0.7% week to date, while the Nasdaq is down nearly 0.6%. The Dow is down 0.04% for the period. At the conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s meeting on Wednesday, Chair Jerome Powell appeared to rule out a hike as the central bank’s next move, but that doesn’t necessarily mean traders should begin hoping for cuts in the near future. “While rate cuts are unlikely in the short term because inflation remains elevated, the hurdle for rate hikes is really high. Continued strength in the labor market also reduces the urgency to cut, but the potential cap on rates right now combined with a strong economy is a positive for equities,” said Sonu Varghese, global macro strategist at Carson Group. On Friday, the central bank and all of Wall Street will be eyeing the April nonfarm payrolls report, with close attention to changes in wages. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting 240,000 positions to have been added, marking a slowdown from the 303,000 jobs gained in March. They also anticipate that average hourly wages grew by 4% year over year, and they expect the unemployment rate to hold steady at 3.8%. U.S. Treasury yields were around flat Friday as investors awaited key labor market data that could provide hints about the state of the economy. At 6:30 a.m. ET, the yield on the 10-year Treasury was off less than one basis point to 4.567%. The 2-year Treasury yield was last less than one basis point higher to 4.883%. Hong Kong led gains in Asia on Friday as Wall Street rose overnight, ahead of key U.S. employment data. South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.26% to close at 2,676.63, while the smaller-cap Kosdaq tumbled 0.22% to end at 865.59. The Taiwan Weighted Index rose 0.53% to close at 20,330.32, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 1.34% in the final hour of trading. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.55% higher at 7,629. Stock markets in Japan and mainland China were shut for public holidays. Oil prices edged up in early trade on Friday on the prospect of OPEC+ continuing output cuts, but the crude benchmarks were headed for weekly losses on U.S. economic uncertainty and limited crude supply disruptions caused by the Israel-Hamas war. Brent crude futures for July rose 16 cents to $83.83 a barrel by 0008 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for June was up 19 cents to $79.14 per barrel. Gold prices were poised for a second straight weekly decline, although bullion held steady on Friday as investors remained cautious ahead of the U.S. non-farm payrolls data that could provide cues on the Federal Reserve’s rate cut timeline. Spot gold held its ground at $2,306.84 per ounce by 0457 GMT but lost more than 1% this week. Prices have fallen over $120 after hitting a record high of $2,431.29 earlier in April. U.S. gold futures firmed 0.3% at $2,315.70.