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U.S. futures higher, earnings season to kick off; Dow Jones up 0.24%

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Shutterstock photo - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Monday, as Alcoa was to kick off the earnings season after the closing bell, while concerns over the U.S. job market lingered.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.24% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.30% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.30% increase.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor on Thursday said the U.S. economy added 88,000 jobs last month, the smallest increase since last June and far below forecasts for an increase of 200,000. The U.S. unemployment rate ticked down to 7.6% from 7.7% in February.

The report came after disappointing data on U.S. manufacturing and service sector activity and private sector job creation earlier in the week.

Airline companies were expected to be active, following reports that a potential USD7 billion order from British Airways for Airbus A350 jets is set to hand Boeing its next major challenge as it nears the end of a three-month crisis over the grounding of the 787 Dreamliner.

Tech stocks were also likely to be in focus, as Hewlett-Packard's CEO Meg Whitman was reportedly seeking to use a new line of servers to jump- start a multiyear turnaround of the company.

Apple climbed 0.88% in pre-market trade after it and six other companies won on Friday a court order to block potentially thousands of employees from proceeding in a group lawsuit that their incomes were held down by the companies' agreements not to recruit one another's workers.

Separately, Dell said it's willing to reimburse billionaire Carl Icahn for expenses he incurs in the process of bidding for the computer maker.

According to a March 25 statement, Icahn is offering USD15 a share in cash for as much as 58.1% of Dell's stock.

Elsewhere, United Parcel Service appealed the European Union's decision to block its EUR5.16 billion bid for TNT Express to clarify the regulator's legal arguments. The Dutch delivery company added that the appeal was not a renewal of the offer.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.47%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.62%, Germany's DAX gained 0.30%, while Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.25%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped 0.04%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index surged 2.8%. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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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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