(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a modestly higher opening on the Wall Street as investors digested better-than-expected non-farm payrolls data.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 18 points to 13,337. The Nasdaq futures gained 6.25 points to 2,734.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures added 2.40 points to 1,456.30.
Friday's U.S. non-farm payrolls report showed 155,000 jobs were added in December and the jobless rate remained at 7.8 percent. Economists expected creation of 150,000 jobs and unemployment rate at 7.7 percent. Non-farm payrolls measures the change in the number of people employed during the previous month, excluding the farming industry.
A report may show the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) edged down to 54.2 in December from 54.7 in November.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed in red, erasing earlier gains, as investors weighed minutes from last month's Federal Reserve policy meeting and awaited the monthly jobs data.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: LLY, MOS, FINL, CSTR, PRGS, SONC, CRAY
In corporate news, Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) gained 2.57 percent in premarket after the drugmaker guided fiscal 2013 earnings that was better than Wall Street projections.
Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS) may be active after the company posted a drop in quarterly operating earnings as lower phosphate volumes and margins resulted in a 17 percent decline in sales.
Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) edged lower in premarket after the company posted a 4.0 percent fall in December sales. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores fell 2.3 percent last month.
Finish Line Inc. (NASDAQ: FINL) retreated 6.78 percent in premarket after the retailer of athletic apparel updated its forecast for the full year following breakeven earnings per share for the third quarter as margins contracted and expenses rose.
Coinstar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSTR) fell 2.02 percent in premarket after the owner of the Redbox movie-rental kiosks said Chief Executive Officer Paul Davis will retire on March 31. The company named CFO Scott Di Valerio as its new CEO.
Progress Software Corp. (NASDAQ: PRGS) dropped 4.26 percent after the enterprise software company posted lower fourth-quarter earnings and revenue. The company forecast flat revenue for the first quarter.
Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ: SONC) declined 2.79 percent in premarket after the drive-in restaurant chain reported lower-than-expected revenue for the first quarter.
Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) lost 4.80 percent in premarket after the developer of supercomputers forecast 2012 revenue that trailed consensus estimates.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX down 0.22 percent to trade at 7,739.71. France's CAC40 dropped 0.38 percent to trade at 3,707.30. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 inched 0.07 percent higher to trade at 6,051.78.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index added 0.35 percent to close at 2,276.99. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.82 percent to finish at 10,688.11. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slid 0.29 percent to end at 23,331.09. India's BSE Sensex ended at 19,784.08, up 0.10 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures lost 0.90 percent to $92.06 per barrel. Gold futures retreated 2.23 percent to $1,637.20 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro fell 0.33 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3006, and the British pound dropped 0.58 percent to 1.6014. The dollar jumped 1.26 percent against the Japanese yen to 88.3400.