Stocks head for gains after jobs report

premarketClick chart for more premarket data. By CNNMoney staff


NEW YORK(CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were poised to open the second quarter higher, following the government's stronger-than-expected jobs report -- one of the most closely-watched economic indicators on Wall Street.

The report showed a gain of 216,000 jobs in March -- easily topping forecasts. The unemployment rate dipped to 8.8% -- its lowest level in two years.

Investors were also digesting a new offer for the NYSE (NYX, Fortune 500) from Nasdaq (NDAQ) and ICE (ICE).

Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were higher ahead of the opening bell. Futures measure current index values against perceived future performance.

"The revival in U.S. economic growth is resilient enough to withstand the shocks that we've been hit with like higher oil prices and concerns out of Japan," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute.

"Even if something new came along, it wouldn't necessarily just tank the economy," he said. "The markets are probably getting a sense that the first quarter was not a bad quarter."

On Thursday, U.S. stocks ended the day narrowly mixed, but stocks posted solid gains the first three months of the year, despite geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East and the March earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan.

Companies: Nasdaq and IntercontinentalExchange offered $42.50 a share, or $11.3 billion, for NYSE Euronext, topping the bid from rival Deutsche Boerse by nearly 19%. Shares of NYSE rose 10% in premarket trading to $39.10. Nasdaq's stock fell 4%, while shares of ICE slid 2.5%.

Also, major automakers including General Motors (GM), Ford (F, Fortune 500) and Toyota (TM) will release their monthly sales reports after the start of trade.

Economy: Also on tap for Friday morning, the Institute for Supply Management's March manufacturing index and the Commerce Department's February construction spending report will be released at 10 a.m.

Economists expect the ISM manufacturing index to remain steady at a reading of 61.4, while construction spending is expected to fall by 0.7%.

World markets: Asian markets ended the session mixed. The Shanghai Composite rose 1.3%, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 1.2%. But Japan's Nikkei eased 0.5%, after a report showed auto sales in the nation plunged 37% in March.

European stocks rose in midday trading. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1%, the DAX in Germany gained 1.2% and France's CAC 40 edged higher 0.8%.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar rose against the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound.

Oil for May delivery rose 76 cents to $107.48 a barrel.

Gold futures for June delivery slipped $15 to $1,424.60 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 3.51% from 3.45% late Thursday.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.94%3.91%
15 yr fixed3.05%3.07%
5/1 ARM3.05%3.14%
30 yr refi3.94%3.97%
15 yr refi3.10%3.12%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,126.12 -36.87 -0.20%
Nasdaq 5,097.98 -8.61 -0.17%
S&P 500 2,120.79 -2.69 -0.13%
Treasuries 2.13 -0.01 -0.23%
Data as of 5:02pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Broadcom Corp 56.25 -0.91 -1.58%
Bank of America Corp... 16.67 -0.07 -0.42%
Apple Inc 131.78 -0.26 -0.20%
Boston Scientific Co... 18.27 0.28 1.56%
Intel Corp 34.02 0.31 0.92%
Data as of 4:04pm ET

Sections

While competitors are getting rid of artificial ingredients and considering kale, Carl's Jr. is going all in with the high-calorie Most American Thickburger. More

Lunchcruit is a new startup that facilitates lunch between employers and prospective employees in a relaxed, zero-commitment environment. More

Karlos Dansby, a linebacker with the Cleveland Browns, is bringing his winning strategy from the football field into the startup arena. More