Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, Feb. 7:
1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing to gain on Wall Street ahead of January nonfarm payrolls data.
European stocks were higher. Asian shares ended the session with gains. Japan's Nikkei 225 index surged 2.2%.
2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes the nonfarm payrolls report for January at 8:30 a.m. EST, and consumer credit for December at 3 p.m.
3.-- U.S. stocks on Thursday rose as jobless claims came in lower than expected, suggesting the labor situation was improving despite recent data weakness in other sectors. The S&P 500 closed up 1.24% to 1,773.43, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.22% -- its first close up 1% this year -- to 15,628.46. The Nasdaq increased 1.14% to 4,057.12.
4.-- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) has purchased $14 billion of its own shares in the two weeks since reporting financial results that disappointed Wall Street, CEO Tim Cook told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.
Apple shares rose 1.7% to $521 in premarket trading on Friday. 5.-- IBM (IBM - Get Report) is exploring a sale of its semiconductor business, the Financial Times reported.
IBM appointed Goldman Sachs to sound out possible buyers for the business, according to people familiar with the matter, the FT reported. IBM is not wedded to the idea of selling and could also seek a partner with which to create a joint venture for its semiconductor operations, the people said. A value for the business could not be learned, according to the FT.
IBM shares rose 0.5% in early trading.
The stock fell 6.5% in premarket trading to $208.99. 7.-- News Corp (NWSA) reported fiscal second-quarter profit on Thursday of $150 million, or 26 cents a share, down from $1.4 billion, or $2.42 a share, a year earlier, which included a $1.3 billion gain from an acquisition. Adjusted earnings were 31 cents a share; analysts were looking for 21 cents.
8.-- Fortune magazine named General Motors' (GM) new CEO Mary Barra as the Most Powerful Woman in Business in a global ranking. Barra took over the automaker on Jan. 15.
10.-- Mathew Martoma, a former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager, was convicted Thursday of helping the company owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen earn more than a quarter-billion dollars illegally through trades based on secrets about the testing of a potential breakthrough Alzheimer's drug. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel