The U.S. economy added 165,000 jobs in April, according to the government's latest monthly jobs report. The unemployment dipped to 7.5% from the prior month's rate of 7.6%.
Both numbers were much better than expected, sending U.S. stock futures sharply higher. S&P 500 futures rose above 1,600. If that holds for the open, it will mark the first time the broad index has breached that level.
While jobs will likely dominate trading Friday, later Friday morning, the Census Bureau will release data on factory orders and the Institute for Supply Management will release its monthly services-sector index.
Warren Buffett's investment firm Berkshire Hathaway (Fortune 500) is scheduled to release quarterly earnings after the market close. ,
LinkedIn ( shares plunged in premarket trading after the professional-networking site )offered weak second-quarter guidance.
AIG (Fortune 500) shares rose after the insurer reported earnings that beat expectations Thursday. ,
European markets climbed higher in midday trading, though investors were also awaiting the U.S. jobs data before making any big decisions.
The European Union trimmed its forecast for the eurozone gross domestic product, to a decline of 0.4% in 2013. The forecast for 2014 was also trimmed, to a gain of 1.2%.
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