NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were gaining ground Friday after a stronger-than-expected monthly jobs report.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 32 points, or 29.13 points above fair value, to 16,520, while S&P 500 futures were up 3.75 points, or 3.62 points above fair value, to 1,881.5. Nasdaq futures were up 6.7 points, or 7.74 points above fair value, to 3,593.5.
- The U.S. created 288,000 jobs in April vs. the average economist's estimate of 210,000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The jobless rate fell to 6.3% vs. expectations of a fall to 6.6%.
- March factory orders will be released at 10 a.m. EDT.
- President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to hold a joint news conference after meeting at the White House. Discussions are expected to focus on Russia.
- Marsh & McLennan (MMC - Get Report) was poised for action after first-quarter earnings of 81 cents a share topped expectations by a penny. Chevron (CVX) is expected by Wall Street on Friday to report first-quarter earnings of $2.51 a share on revenue of $57 billion. LinkedIn (LNKD) was down 1.84% after issuing guidance on Thursday short of analysts' estimates after it said it swung to a loss in the first quarter ended in March.
- AstraZeneca (AZN) was edging lower in premarket trading after rejecting Pfizer's (PFE)sweetened bid that values AstraZeneca $106 billion. Merck (MRK - Get Report) shares were drifting lower. The stock was also being closely watched as the FDA asks a panel of advisers to vote on Friday on whether Singulair is safe enough to be approved for nonprescription use. Separately, Bloomberg reported that Bayer is in exclusive talks to acquire Merck's consumer business and is prepared to pay about $14 billion for the division.
- As of Thursday's regular trading session, 353 companies reported earnings results for the first quarter. S&P Capital IQ said that 237 of those companies beat analysts' estimates, 79 missed, and 37 met. All ten sectors are expecting earnings growth in 2014, with IT (61.6%) leading growth, according to S&P Capital IQ.
-- By Andrea Tse in New York