- Pre-Market Indications

Friday, March 5, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures up more after payrolls report

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By Steve Goldstein & Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures added to their gains on Friday as investors found cheer in a better-than-expected employment report for February, with Wall Street headed to a second week of gains.

In the jobs report, nonfarm payrolls fell by 36,000 last month and the rate of unemployment holding steady at 9.7%, illustrates "better prospects for the U.S. recovery, along with improved risk appetite, as U.S. equity futures bounce," wrote analysts at Action Economics. Read about which segments hardest hit by job losses.

S&P 500 futures rose 6.7 points to 1,129 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 9.5 points to 1,869.25. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 47 points to 10,478.

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U.S. stocks rose Thursday on encouraging signs from retail sales reports and jobless claims as well as three analyst upgrades of blue chips, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 all rising between 0.4% and 0.5%.


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Also of note is a report from the Nikkei newspaper that the Bank of Japan may take further easing measures, news that sent the Nikkei 225 up over 2% in Tokyo and lifted the dollar vs. the Japanese yen.

"The broader question from a strategy perspective is whether this sets up a return to the yen carry trade," said Kenneth Broux, market economist at Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets.

Investors will also be looking at Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's planned meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the Greeks try to get support for these fund raising efforts.

Communications chip maker Marvell Technology /quotes/comstock/15*!mrvl/quotes/nls/mrvl (MRVL 20.13, +0.17, +0.85%) fell 1.6% even after reporting a fourth-quarter profit rise and first-quarter guidance that beat analyst estimates.

"The lack of upside is likely to be construed as a disappointment but we are incrementally constructive on the stock," said Deutsche Bank analyst Sukhi Nagesh.

Europe stocks climbed Friday, and oil futures rose to top $81 a barrel.

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

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