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U.S. stocks were poised to open the second quarter higher, following the government's stronger-than-expected jobs report - one of the most closely-watched economic indicators on Wall Street.
The report showed a gain of 216,000 jobs in March - easily topping forecasts. The unemployment rate dipped to 8.8% - its lowest level in two years.
Investors were also digesting a new offer for the NYSE (NYX, Fortune 500) from Nasdaq (NDAQ) and ICE (ICE).
Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were higher ahead of the opening bell.
Companies: Nasdaq and IntercontinentalExchange offered $42.50 a share, or $11.3 billion, for NYSE Euronext, topping the bid from rival Deutsche Boerse by nearly 19%. Shares of NYSE rose 10% in premarket trading to $39.10. Nasdaq's stock fell 4%, while shares of ICE slid 2.5%.
Also, major automakers including General Motors (GM), Ford (F, Fortune 500) and Toyota (TM) will release their monthly sales reports after the start of trade.
Economy: Also on tap for Friday morning, the Institute for Supply Management's March manufacturing index and the Commerce Department's February construction spending report will be released at 10 a.m.
Economists expect the ISM manufacturing index to remain steady at a reading of 61.4, while construction spending is expected to fall by 0.7%.
World markets: Asian markets ended the session mixed. The Shanghai Composite rose 1.3%, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 1.2%. But Japan's Nikkei eased 0.5%, after a report showed auto sales in the nation plunged 37% in March.
European stocks rose in midday trading. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1%, the DAX in Germany gained 1.2% and France's CAC 40 edged higher 0.8%.
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