Stocks edged up on Friday, with investors anticipating a strong reading for a key employment report due out later in the day, which could provide an indication of the pace of recovery in the world's largest economy.
The closely-watched non-farm payrolls report is expected to show an increase of 513,000 jobs in May as the government ramped up hiring for the census, compared with a 290,000 increase in April, which would mark the biggest monthly gain since September 1983. The report is due at 1230 GMT.
The unemployment rate is seen at 9.8 percent versus 9.9 percent in April.
With the worst oil spill in U.S. history presenting a key test of his presidency, President Barack Obama has postponed a trip scheduled for this month to Australia and Indonesia.
BP's shares rose around 4 percent in European trade, as the company made promising strides in its latest bid to capture some of the oil spewing from its ruptured deep-sea well in the Gulf of Mexico.
Three top Federal Reserve officials said on Thursday it may soon be time to begin raising interest rates as the economic recovery in the United States gathers momentum, despite persistently high unemployment.
The Group of 20 policymakers expressed concern on Friday about the health of the world economy even as they closed ranks behind the euro zone's efforts to tackle a debt crisis that has rattled global markets.
Other economic data due on Friday includes the Economic Cycle Research Institute's (ECRI) measure of U.S. inflation pressures at 1340 GMT and the institute's weekly measure of future U.S. economic growth at 1430 GMT.
U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, led by a late-day surge in technology shares.
Martek Biosciences Corp's shares rose 8 percent after the market closed on Thursday after the company posted second-quarter results.
In Europe the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top shares was up 0.7 percent at 1,024.93 points by 0825 GMT, on track to post a fifth straight session of gains.
(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal; Editing by Greg Mahlich)