U.S. futures edge higher, employment data in focus; Dow Jones up 0.22%

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Friday, as Thursday's announcements by the European Central Bank continued to support global equities, while investors awaited the release of U.S. nonfarm payrolls data later in the day.

Ahead of the open, the Dow 30futures pointed to a 0.22% increase, S&P 500futures signaled a 0.14% rise, while the Nasdaq 100futures indicated a 0.14% gain.

Global equities found support after the ECB on Thursday lowered its benchmark interest rate to a record-low 0.15% from 0.25% and said it will be conducting a series of Targeted Longer Term Refinancing Operations (TLTROs) to support lending in the euro zone.

Market participants were now eyeing U.S. nonfarm payrolls data to be released later in the day for further indications on the strength of the job market after recent employment reports fuelled investors' concerns.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 31 rose more than expected to 312,000.

The financial sector was set to be in focus, amid reports Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) could pay more than $12 billion to settle probes by the Justice Department and a number of U.S. states. The U.S. lender tumbled 1.49% in pre-market trade.

Among tech stocks, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) gained 0.19% in early trading as the iPhone maker was said to be stepping up its campaign to win over more developers in China, hoping to replicate an platform of games and other widgets that has helped it drive iPhone and iPad sales in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) eased 0.04% after hours as the company said it will continue to display on-screen messages that blame broadband providers for slow-loading videos.

The move came a day after Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) threatened legal action against the online streaming provider if it doesn't stop citing the phone company when films and TV shows load slowly or are interrupted in progress.

Meanwhile, Sprint (NYSE:S) jumped 1% in late trading after plummeting over 4% on Thursday amid reports the telecom company is nearing an agreement on the price, capital structure and termination fee of an acquisition for T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), whose stock rallied 1.37% pre-market.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.34%, France's CAC 40 added 0.25%, Germany's DAX gained 0.25%, while Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 0.32%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 0.69%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 dipped 0.01%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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