U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday as investors awaited key monthly data on the labor market.
U.S. May non-farm payrolls were forecast to fall by 520,000, a slowing from the loss of 539,000 jobs in April, although the previous month's number could be revised. The U.S. unemployment rate is seen rising to 9.2 percent in May from 8.9 percent in April, according to Reuters poll.
This morning's jobs number is going to be critical in terms of giving us a picture of what's going on, said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.
Today's number is either going to confirm that the numbers are improving, or at least not getting any worse. But if that number comes in worse than expected, and if on top of that you've got a worse-than-expected revision to the previous month's number, then the market is not going to look at that favorably.
Global miner Rio Tinto
S&P 500 futures rose 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 added 54 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures gained 5.75 points.
The Journal also reported the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp is aiming to shake up Citigroup Inc's
A U.S. federal appeals court will hear arguments on Friday to block the sale of Chrysler LLC to a group including Italian carmaker Fiat SpA
European shares traded higher by midday, led by Rio Tinto, after the mining group backed out of a planned tie-up with Chianlco and announced a rights issue while planning a joint venture with BHP Billiton
Asian shares, oil and higher-yielding currencies rose as positive signals from the latest U.S. weekly job data sparked tentative optimism ahead of the Friday employment report.
U.S. shares climbed Thursday as a brokerage's upbeat view on U.S. banks sparked a run-up in financials, while surging prices in oil and other commodities boosted natural resource companies on hopes the economic slump was waning.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 74.96 points, or 0.86 percent, to 8,750.24. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> climbed 10.70 points, or 1.15 percent, to 942.46. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 24.10 points, or 1.32 percent, to 1,850.02.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)