Stock futures climbed Thursday as the looming official U.S. jobs data came into focus following a rise in new jobless claims.
S&P 500 futures added 0.37%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 0.35%, and Nasdaq futures gained 0.25%.
The number of new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 16,000 to 276,000, according to the Labor Department. Economists had expected the measure to rise to 262,000 over the week ended Oct. 31. Though the increase was more than expected, weekly claims remain near their lowest level in 15 years.
Markets were showing caution ahead of Friday's jobs report, particularly after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the December meeting remained a "live" possibility for a rate hike. The official jobs report is expected to show 205,000 jobs added to nonfarm payrolls in October, rebounding after two months of weakness. A strong reading could give the Fed just enough justification to hike rates for the first time in nearly a decade.
Facebook (FB - Get Report) shares climbed nearly 2% after the social network reported an 11% jump in third-quarter earnings. Sales jumped 41% as marketing efforts paid off and video ad dollars rolled in. The company also said that most of its users now access Facebook on their mobile phones, which offers a more attractive advertising model.
Kate Spade (KATE) shares moved higher after the fashion designer reported a mixed quarter. Net income of 6 cents a share came in 2 cents above estimates. Sales jumped 11% to $277.33 million over the third quarter, though missed forecasts by nearly $3 million.
SeaWorld (SEAS - Get Report) slid after a disappointing quarter. The theme park chain earned $1.14 a share in its third quarter, 4 cents shy of estimates, while revenue of $496.9 million missed by $12.5 million. The company has been under pressure since ethical questions over orca captivity hit attendance levels.
Homeaway (AWAY) surged nearly 20% after Expedia (EXPE - Get Report) agreed to buy the online travel agency for $3.9 billion in a cash-and-stock deal. Expedia will pay $10.15 a share, plus 0.2065 of its own stock in exchange for Homeaway stock.
Kraft Heinz (KHC - Get Report) announced plans to slash 2,600 factory jobs and close seven U.S. facilities and one Canadian plant over the next 12 to 24 months. The plans follow on from an "extensive review" of its supply chain. The company said the downsizing will eliminate excess capacity and limit redundancies after Kraft's merger with Heinz earlier this year.
Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) sank 3.7% after providing weaker-than-expected first-quarter guidance. The communications tech company said it expects quarterly earnings no higher than 90 cents a share, well below an estimated $1.08 a share. Fourth-quarter results also looked weak with sales slumping 19% to $5.45 billion.
Whole Foods Market (WFM) stumbled 6.5% after comparable-store sales slid 0.2% in its fourth quarter. The supermarket chain earned 30 cents a share over the quarter, a nickel below estimates. Revenue of $3.42 billion fell shy of forecasts by $50 million.