U.S. stock index futures point to a higher opening Friday ahead of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' nonfarm payrolls report and unemployment report.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.32 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 index were up 0.37 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 index were up 0.42 percent.
Market sentiment was dragged down as the European Central Bank left its main refinancing rate unchanged at 0.75 percent and made little change to the assessment of the economic activity and inflation prospects in the press conference in Frankfurt Thursday.
ECB President Mario Draghi put pressure on the European governments to push ahead with fiscal consolidation and structural reforms. He insisted on the adherence of the governments to their commitments as necessary conditions for the ECB to undertake further non-standard monetary policy measures.
Investors are likely to focus on the nonfarm payrolls report Friday. The report, which measures the change in the number of people employed during the previous month, excluding the farming industry, is expected to increase 100,000 in July, up from 80,000 in June.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will also release its unemployment report, which measures the percentage of the total work force that was unemployed and actively seeking employment during the previous month. The July unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 8.2 percent.
On Thursday, the U.S. markets fell as investors were disappointed to note that there were no announcements by the ECB on stimulus measures to boost the economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.71 percent, the S&P 500 Index dropped 0.74 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.36 percent.
The main European indices recovered after investors felt letdown Thursday by the ECB's decision not to announce any monetary easing steps to revive the euro zone economy. London's FTSE 100 was up 19.34 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index rose 32.03 points and France's CAC 40 climbed 12.58 points.
Most of the Asian stocks were down as investor confidence was dragged down by no announcement of monetary easing measures by the ECB.