Updated from 6:23 a.m.
Here are five things you must know for Friday, Aug. 5:
1. -- The monthly jobs report from the Department of Labor said that 255,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in July, a strong addition that was well ahead of expectations.
Economists surveyed by Econoday initially estimated that 185,000 jobs were added in July. In June, 287,000 jobs were added in a blockbuster month.
The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.9%.
The jobs report is a closely watched indicator of the health of the U.S. economy. If the Federal Reserve sees it as strong enough, that could help tip the scales toward raising interest rates again.
On Thursday, the Labor Department said 269,000 new unemployment claims were filed last week, an increase of 3,000 from the prior week, but still quite low by historical standards. That number plus the jobs figure from Friday suggest the U.S. overall employment scenario is healthy.
2. -- In the U.S. Friday, stock futures were heading higher after several strong earnings reports Thursday and after the jobs report on Friday. The major indices were all tipping upward by 0.2% in premarket trading.
On Thursday, the markets traded near the base line as investors took a wait-and-see approach to trading in advance of the jobs report Friday. The S&P 500 rose 0.02% to 2164.25. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also edged 0.02% higher to 18,352.05. The Nasdaq rose 0.13% to 5166.25.
Oil prices were hovering below the $42 mark for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes the Department of Labor's monthly jobs report at 8:30 a.m., international trade figures at 8:30 a.m., and the Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.
On Thursday, Activision Blizzard (ATVI - Get Report) , Kraft Heinz (KHC - Get Report) , Lions Gate (LGF , LinkedIn (LNKD , Monster Beverage (MNST - Get Report) , Priceline (PCLN and Zynga (ZNGA - Get Report) announced they beat earnings expectations. FireEye (FEYE - Get Report) missed on earnings expectations.
Earnings are expected Friday from Virgin America (VA before the opening bell.
Kraft Heinz reported adjusted earnings of 85 cents per diluted share, an increase of 39.3% year over year. That beat analyst estimates of 72 cents per share. Quarterly revenue was $6.79 billion, which matched analyst estimates but was 4.7% below the year-ago quarter.
The company's dividend is rising to 60 cents per share, a 4.3% increase, as of Oct. 7.
Kraft Heinz is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio.Kraft and Heinz completed their $45 billion merger last year, turning Kraft Heinz into the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. Kraft Heinz's CEO Bernardo Hees said of the merger in a statement, " We're off to a good start, but there is still much work to be done."
4. -- Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) looks like it made a good decision to acquire LinkedIn (LNKD , according to the strong earnings report posted Thursday by the business social network. Microsoft is paying $26.2 billion to acquire LinkedIn, the companies announced in June. Barring a hiccup in the merger, the deal will close in 2016.
LinkedIn has previously suffered from big swings in its stock price. Investors have had a difficult time determining whether the stock resembles a social network or a Software as a Service company.
LinkedIn reported earnings of $1.13 per share on Thursday, beating analysts' estimates of 78 cents per share. Revenue was $932.7 million for the quarter, beating analyst estimates of $898.3 million. Membership rose 18% year over year to 450 million. Page views and unique user visits also rose.
In anticipation of the merger, LinkedIn did not give guidance for future quarters.
LinkedIn stock was edging higher by 0.12% in premarket trading.
5. -- In a rebuke to the banking sector and to U.K. stocks, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS posted a larger-than-expected loss Friday morning. The U.K. government owns nearly 72% of the voting rights in the bank after the credit-crisis bailout.
RBS reported a £1.1 billion ($1.4 billion) loss attributable to shareholders, after a loss of £968 million in the first quarter. Consensus expectations anticipated a second-quarter loss of £410 million, according to FactSet. In the same quarter last year, RBS posted a profit of £280 million.
The bank was undoubtedly shaken by the Brexit vote in June, which will remove the U.K. from the eurozone and may reduce the U.K.'s stature in global banking.
In premarket trading, RBS's ADRs were down by 6.7%.