U.S. stocks were poised for a slightly higher open on Friday as investors struggled to interpret mixed messages on the economy from the jobs report.
Nonfarm payrolls in January grew just 36,000, the Labor Department said, far less than the 145,000 increase that economists had expected, but the jobless rate fell to 9.0 percent.
Right now, as a market participant myself, I am having trouble what to make of this data, said Dan Cook, senior market analyst at IG Markets in Chicago.
It's hard to say -- we get a pullback like we did last Friday, but there is no follow through and all of a sudden they pop back up. I still think the bias is upward.
Both the Dow and S&P 500 have remained near highs reached last Tuesday that had not been seen since June 2008.
S&P 500 futures added 2.2 points and were slightly 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 16 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 1.5 points.
Health insurer Aetna Inc
Bank of America Corp
Tyson Foods Inc's
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)