(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures trimmed their gains following weaker-than-expected non-farm payrolls data even as investors digested remarks by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who detailed the central bank's new bond-purchase plan to protect the euro.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 43 points to 13,318. The Nasdaq futures added 3.50 points to 2,829. Standard and Poor's 500 futures gained 6 points to 1,437.
On the domestic economic front, the U.S. non-farm payrolls report showed that just 96,000 jobs were added in August after a revised 141,000 increase in July. Economists expected addition of just over 120,000 jobs. Unemployment rate unexpectedly edged down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent.
The labor data comes a day after upbeat weekly jobless claims and private sector data. The ADP National Employment report showed that U.S. private sector added 201,000 jobs in August, up from a revised 173,000 in July, and also topped expectations for an addition of 140,000 jobs. The number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits were fewer than expected for the week ended Sept. 1, a government data showed.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed on a sharply higher note following remarks by Draghi and a set of upbeat domestic economic readings also boosted sentiment. Draghi said the new bond-buying program will provide a "fully effective backstop" against market volatility and the measures will safeguard the monetary policy transmission in all countries in the euro zone area. The ECB kept its main interest rate unchanged on Thursday.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: INTC, KO, STI, KR, COO, SWHC, ADNC
In corporate news, Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) reduced its revenue forecast for the third quarter and withdrew its full-year view, citing softness in the enterprise PC market segment and slowing demand in emerging markets. Shares fell 3.17 percent in premarket.
SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE:STI) accelerated a planned sale of 60 million shares of beverage giant Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO). The bank expects the action to generate $1.9 billion pre-tax gain in the third quarter and strengthen its balance sheet. STI shares rose 2.32 percent and KO shares inched up in premarket.
Cooper Companies Inc. (NYSE:COO) jumped 7.07 percent in premarket after medical products company raised its full-year earnings and revenue view above consensus following upbeat quarterly results.
Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) gained 2.81 percent in premarket after the retailer increased its fiscal 2012 outlook following a rise in earnings per share for the second quarter amid 4 percent rise in sales.
Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:SWHC) jumped 22.78 percent in premarket after the maker of firearms boosted its full year forecast, spurred by strong demand for its guns.
Audience Inc. (NASDAQ:ADNC) tumbled 58.75 percent in premarket after the company said its processor IP is unlikely to be enabled in Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL) next generation mobile phones.
Quiksilver Inc. (NYSE:ZQK) reported an increase in quarterly earnings on lower provision for income taxes. The outdoor sports lifestyle company's adjusted results beat Wall Street expectations.
European markets traded higher, with Germany's DAX up 0.91 percent to trade at 7,232.88. France's CAC40 advanced 1.26 percent to trade at 3,554.07. U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.29 percent to trade at 5,793.88.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index jumped 3.70 percent to finish at 2,127.76. Japan's Nikkei 225 climbed 2.20 percent to end at 8,871.65. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rallied 3.09 percent to close at 19,802.16. India's BSE Sensex closed at 17,683.73, up 1.95 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures gained 0.39 percent to $95.90 per barrel. Gold futures climbed 0.67 percent to $1,717.0 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.82 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2735, and the British pound added 0.20 percent to 1.5964. The dollar dropped 0.55 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.4300.