U.S. stock futures signal gains ahead of jobs data

 @ibtimes
on June 05 2009 5:16 AM

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Friday, ahead of key monthly jobs data.

At 4:40 a.m. EDT, futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.4 percent, Dow Jones futures were up 0.5 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.2 percent.

U.S. May non-farm payrolls are forecast to fall by 520,000, a slight slowing in the decline after a 539,000 drop in April, although the previous month's number could possibly be revised. The U.S. unemployment rate is seen rising to 9.2 percent in May, up from 8.9 percent in April.

European stocks were up 0.6 percent in morning trade on Friday, led by buoyant commodity-related shares, helped by rising oil and metal prices.

Global miner Rio Tinto jumped 11 percent after it scrapped a planned $19.5 billion tie-up with China's Chinalco struck at the height of a global financial crisis, turning instead to an iron ore joint venture with rival BHP Billiton and a share sale to slash its debts.

Apple Inc will be in the spotlight after the Wall Street Journal reported that CEO Steve Jobs is on track to return to the company from his medical leave of absence as planned.

General Motors Corp has reached a preliminary deal to sell its Saturn distribution network to the No. 2 U.S. dealership group Penske Automotive Group , the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp is aiming at a shake-up of Citigroup Inc's top management, including replacing Chief Executive Vikram Pandit, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Tech shares will be in focus after the CEO of SAP AG , the world's largest maker of business software, said in an interview with French daily Le Figaro the company will continue to make acquisitions to grow and could spend 5 billion euros ($7.1 billion) on deals.

U.S. shares climbed on Thursday as a brokerage's upbeat view on U.S. banks sparked a run-up in financials, while surging prices of oil and other commodities boosted natural resource companies on bets the economic slump is 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 Blaise Robinson; Editing by David Cowell)

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