Stock Futures Advance Further After May Jobs Numbers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were gaining Friday after gains in the May government jobs report and after the European Central Bank's unprecedented move on interest rates on Thursday.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 217,000 in May vs. the average estimate of 218,000 gleaned from a Reuters survey of economists. That's also weaker than April's figure, which was a downwardly revised 282,000. Still, the May number was slightly higher than the average gain of 197,000 over the past year.

The jobless rate was unchanged at 6.3% vs. the consensus 6.4%.

S&P 500 futures were up 4.25 points, or 3.74 points higher, to 1,942.75, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were increasing 48 points, or 40.89 points above fair value, to 16,866. Nasdaq futures were advancing 6.7 points, or 6.9 points above fair value, to 3,783. U.S. stocks on Thursday rose to record heights as markets cheered the ECB's unprecedented moves to help stimulate the eurozone economy.

European markets were higher after the ECB's decision Thursday and as investors parsed the latest U.S. labor market data. The FTSE was up incrementally by 0.35% and the DAX edged up by 0.33%. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 finished flat and the Hang Seng fell 0.69%.

Stocks to watch Friday include Bank of America (BAC), General Motors (GM) and Walmart (WMT).

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, is scheduled to hold its annual shareholders' meeting beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday. General Motors shares fell 0.7% on Thursday to $36.27 following CEO Mary Barra's pledge that the automaker never will again repeat the mistakes surrounding its ignition switch problems, which led to at least 13 deaths, 47 crashes, the recall of 2.6 million cars and then to a worldwide recall of 15.8 million cars with more to come. Bank of America is in talks to pay at least $12 billion to settle civil probes by the Justice Department and a number of states into the bank's alleged handling of shoddy mortgages, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the negotiations.

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