U.S. stock index futures rose slightly on Friday as investors awaited monthly payrolls data and the unemployment rate, key indicators to determine the strength of the economic recovery.
Shares of online retailer Amazon.com Inc
With the jobs data due at 8:30 a.m. EST, a Reuters survey of 76 economists forecast U.S. non-farm employers cut 175,000 workers from their payrolls in October, which would be the smallest amount for any month since August 2008. The unemployment rate is expected to have climbed to 9.9 percent in October from 9.8 percent in September.
There could be positive signs for stocks, even if unemployment rises more than expected, according to Andrew Neale, portfolio manager at Fogel Neale Partners in New York.
If the number is worse than 9.9 percent, it could be seen by the market as we've hit a peak and the market could rally, Neale said. We were surprised by the strength yesterday, but it is apparent the economy is very close to the bottom of the economic cycle.
S&P 500 futures were up 2 points and slightly 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 gained 15 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 3 points.
Shares of bailed-out insurer American International Group
Companies scheduled to report quarterly results include utility Edison International
British Finance Minister Alistair Darling said G20 policymakers have agreed it is too early to pull the plug on economic life-support packages as the global recovery is still fragile. Darling is hosting a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in St. Andrews, Scotland, later Friday.
The S&P 500 ended up for a fourth straight day Thursday and the Dow rose above 10,000 as economic data boosted confidence in the recovery and strong results from Cisco Systems
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)