Wall Street was headed for a moderately higher open Friday as traders anxiously awaited official employment numbers from the Labor Department while digesting another raft of mixed earnings reports.
futures were adding 3 points to 1414 and were more than 4 points above fair value. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 were also up 4 points, to 1987, and were about a point over fair value.
Last time out, stocks soared, with the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
leaping 190 points to 13,010 and the S&P 500 up 24 points to 1409. The
climbed 68 points at 2481.
Nonfarm payrolls data for April will be out at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Earlier this week, the ADP's figures showed a better-than-expected climb of 10,000 jobs last month, though that report doesn't always square with the government's numbers.
Also on the economic docket are March factory orders from the Commerce Department.
On the corporate front,
( JAVA) plunged 16.1% after the server maker
swung to a $34 million loss
in the fiscal third quarter and issued soft sales guidance for the current one, blaming tough economic conditions.
Staying in the tech space,
The Wall Street Journal
, which for three months has been attempting to pressure
to accept its stock-and-cash takeout bid, may go hostile and appeal directly to Yahoo! shareholders as early as today, citing people familiar with the matter. The paper also said, however, that Microsoft could well change its tune before making its announcement.
Back in earnings,
, which owns MTV and other media properties, said first-quarter revenue was up 15% to $3.12 billion, partly thanks to strong sales of the Rock Band music-video game. The company's adjusted profit of 44 cents a share topped analyst predictions.
said shriveling investments dragged its first-quarter profit down 37%, even as operating earnings topped the consensus.
Automatic Data Processing
came in ahead of estimates as income climbed 6% to $413.6 million, but its 2008 profit-growth outlook strayed to the lower end of analyst targets.
Elsewhere, engineering-and-construction concern
more than tripled its first-quarter earnings to $98 million, or 58 cents a share, handily beating the 34-cent analyst consensus from Thomson Financial. Revenue surged to a better-than-anticipated $2.52 billion.
Meanwhile, casino-resort operator
posted a 20% profit drop, falling
a penny short
of per-share analyst projections. Revenue was better than expected, but the stock still shed 2.5%.
Among commodities, crude oil was up 58 cents to $113.10 a barrel, and gold futures climbed $3.10 to $854 an ounce. The U.S. dollar was down fractionally against the euro, but was lifted by 0.4% against the yen.
Treasury prices were edging higher. The 10-year note gained 1/32 in price to yield 3.76%, and the 30-year bond rose 4/32 in price, yielding 4.49%.
Markets abroad were tracking higher. In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 climbed 2.1%, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong tacked on 1.9%. As for Europe, the FTSE 100 in London, Germany's Xetra Dax and the Paris Cac were all rising 1% or more.