Stock index futures rose on Friday ahead of a report expected to show the smallest number of job losses so far this year in August as the economy advances out of a recession.
U.S. employers are expected to have eliminated 225,000 jobs last month, down from 247,000 in July, according to economists polled by Reuters. But the unemployment rate is seen rising to 9.5 percent from 9.4 percent.
Kim Caughey, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh, said investors expected the jobless number may be better than forecast following the ADP private jobs report earlier this week. But she warned that low volumes ahead of the U.S. Labor Day holiday weekend may increase volatility.
Luck is on the side of the jobs number today because a fair amount of people aren't going to be sitting in their offices looking at that number, she said. But that can make for outsize reactions because there aren't enough participants in the market.
S&P 500 futures added 3.5 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 gained 36 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 9.50 points.
Financial stocks were among gainers in premarket. Bank of America Corp
Oil futures moved above $68 a barrel in thin dealing, while gold steadied around $990 an ounce, consolidating the biggest two-day gain since March. Base metals were broadly higher.
Shares of Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc
Socgen raised it price target on Apple Inc
Stocks snapped a four-day losing streak on Thursday. Some investors have been quick to call the losses the start of a pullback from a 50 percent surge in the S&P 500 since March, citing concerns the rally had run ahead of the economic recovery.
Overseas markets were broadly higher, with the Shanghai Composite index <.SSEC> up 0.6 percent, and European shares <.FTEU3> gaining about 1 percent.
(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)