Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Friday, as Thursday's downbeat U.S. jobless claims report prompted investors to trim bets the Federal Reserve will begin raising rates in the first half of next year.
Ahead of the open, the Dow 30futures pointed to a 0.28% gain, S&P 500futures signaled a 0.26% rise, while the Nasdaq 100futures indicated a 0.32% increase.
On Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending August 9 increased by 21,000 to 311,000 from the previous week's revised total of 290,000.
Market participants were looking ahead to upcoming U.S. reports on manufacturing activity in New York state and industrial output, as well as preliminary data on consumer sentiment for further indications on the strength of the economic recovery.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:CCE) was expected to be active, as shares rallied 1.44% in extended trade after the world's largest beverage company agreed to swap some brands and buy a 17% stake in Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) for about $2.15 billion.
Boosted by the news, shares in Monster Beverage skyrocketed 22.12% in pre-market trade.
Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKa) was also likely to be in focus after it reported a stake in Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) and reduced its holding in DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV), in a move to reallocate the company's bets on pay-TV companies.
The news sent Charter Communications up 2.26% in late trading.
In earnings news, Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) jumped 1.65% after the maker of semiconductor-manufacturing equipment said that fiscal fourth-quarter sales may exceed analysts' estimates.
Meanwhile, shares in Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) plummeted 3.99% after hours as the luxury department-store chain missed same-store sales estimates in the last quarter.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 advanced 0.69%, France's CAC 40 climbed 0.71%, Germany's DAX gained 0.74%, while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.63%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.62%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 inched up 0.02%.
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