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
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
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