(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a higher opening on the Wall Street after a data showed modest job growth in January.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 89 points to 13,887. The Nasdaq futures added 16.50 points to 2,741.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures gained 7.80 points to 1,501.30.
The Labor Department's non-farm payrolls report showed that the economy added 157,000 jobs in January following a revised 196,000 in December and the jobless rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent. Economists expected creation of 160,000 jobs last month. Non-farm payrolls measures the change in the number of people employed during the previous month, excluding the farming industry.
The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing survey may show the index rose to 50.6 last month from 50.2 in December. A report from the Commerce Department is expected to show construction spending grew 0.6 percent in December after a 0.3 percent drop in November.
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The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment reading is expected to inch higher to 71.5 last month from a preliminary reading of 71.3.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks closed in red ahead of key jobs data and investors weighed a set of mixed economic readings and corporate earnings reports.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: MRK, MAT, TSN, VVUS, CTRP, MTW
In corporate news, Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) shed 2.22 percent in premarket after the health care giant posted lower quarterly earnings as sales fell and margins shrank as the U.S. patent expiry for its asthma treatment weighed on the results.
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Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) fell 2.31 percent in premarket after the toy maker posted a 17 percent decline in quarterly earnings due to higher costs and expenses despite a 40 basis points rise in gross margins. Results missed Wall Street expectations.
Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) gained 3.16 percent in premarket after the company reported 11 percent rise in its first-quarter profit, which also topped Street view, on lower interest expense. The company also guided its fiscal 2013 sales above estimates.
VIVUS Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS) said a study concluded its weight-loss drug Qsymia significantly improved multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors, and its shares jumped 6.11 percent in premarket.
Ctrip.com International Ltd. (NASDAQ: CTRP) jumped 8.99 percent after the China-based travel services company posted revenue growth for the fourth quarter and forecast 15 percent to 20 percent rise in revenue for the first quarter.
Manitowoc Company Inc. (NYSE: MTW) rose 2.27 percent in premarket after the maker of engineered lifting equipment posted upbeat quarterly results.
European markets traded in green, with Germany's DAX up 0.26 percent to trade at 7,796.59. France's CAC40 advanced 0.97 percent to trade at 3,768.78. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.46 percent to trade at 6,306.07.
Asian markets closed mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index rallying 1.41 percent to close at 2,419.02. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.47 percent to finish at 11,191.34. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.03 percent to end at 23,721.84. India's BSE Sensex ended 0.57 percent lower at 19,781.19.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures traded 0.27 percent lower at $97.23 per barrel. Gold futures added 0.26 percent to $1,666.30 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro gained 0.54 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3652, while the British pound dipped 0.13 percent to 1.5837. The dollar advanced 0.47 percent against the Japanese yen to 92.1400.