U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Friday as a recent spate of improving economic data beckoned investors back into equity markets for a second day.
Goldman Sachs added Microsoft Corp
Shares of the software maker and Dow component rose 2.2 percent to $24.02 in premarket trading.
The Dow and S&P 500 snapped a three-day losing streak on Thursday as data on the job market and regional manufacturing revived hopes that the recession-hit economy is stabilizing.
Sentiment is improving and a lot of people are taking the bet that the recession is over, said Anthony Conroy, head trade for BNY ConvergEx, an affiliate of the Bank of New York, in New York.
Conroy added that the quarterly expiration and settlement of June equity options and futures, a convergence known as quadruple witching, will increase volatility throughout the session, possible pushing indexes higher.
S&P 500 futures rose 6.10 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 52 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 12.25 points.
After gaining as much as 40 percent from a 12-year closing low in early March, the S&P 500 has retreated as investors reassessed the potential strength of an economic recovery. Thursday's data revived some optimism, but analysts said real improvement is needed to sustain the rally.
Government data showed the number of people staying on jobless benefits fell for the first time since January, while manufacturing in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region contracted much less than expected in June.
After the close on Thursday, Research In Motion issued an outlook that fell short of expectations, sending the stock down 1.2 percent before the bell, even as the company reported a rise in quarterly profit that topped forecasts.