U.S. futures higher on positive jobless report; Dow Jones up 0.25%

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Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Friday, as data showing that U.S. initial jobless claims fell to the lowest level since January 2008 eased concerns over the strength of the job market recovery in the world's first economy.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.25% increase, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.16% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.18% rise.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, compared to expectations for an increase of 8,000 to 335,000.

Jobless claims for the preceding week were revised up to 327,000 from a previously reported increase of 324,000.

The data, coming after last week's stronger than expected U.S. nonfarm payrolls report, eased concerns over a slowdown in the labor market.

Internet-linked companies were expected to be active, amid reports Yahoo! Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer is exploring whether to bid for the Hulu LLC streaming-TV service, sending shares in the company up 0.23% in pre-market trade.

According to Bloomberg, Amazon.com, up 0.21% in early trading, has also expressed an interest in Hulu.

Separately, Priceline.com saw shares plummet 2.75% in extended trading, after the U.S. online-travel agent forecast second-quarter profit that missed analysts' estimates as international expansion exposes the company to economic swings in Europe.

Financial stocks were also likely to be in focus, after JP Morgan was sued by California over claims that the biggest U.S. credit-card lender pursued lawsuits against defaulted borrowers based on insufficient evidence.

Elsewhere, billionaire Carl Icahn, seeking to upend a USD24.4 billion buyout of Dell by its founder and Silver Lake Management, proposed an alternative that could have investors keep their stakes in the computer maker and get USD12 a share in cash.

Other stocks in focus included Gold Fields, scheduled to report earnings later in the day.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.61%, France's CAC 40 gained 0.51%, Germany's DAX advanced 0.59%, while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.47%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 0.47%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index surged 2.93%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on the federal budget balance.


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