- U.S. stock futures pointed to a moderately higher open on Friday, as markets eyed the highly-anticipated U.S. employment data later in the day, after the release of stronger than expected reports on consumer spending and manufacturing in the U.S. on Thursday.

Ahead of the open, the Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.07% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.10% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.08% uptick.

Investors were looking ahead to the upcoming April nonfarm payrolls report, which was expected to show that the recovery in the labor market was continuing.

Equitiy markets remained some under pressure after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it would reduce its bond purchases by $10 billion to a total of $45 billion a month, in a widely expected decision.

The pharmaceutical sector was expected to remain in focus, after U.S. drugmaker Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) raised ts bid for Britain''s Astrazeneca (AZN.LONDON) to $106.5 billion. Pfizer shares were steady, down 0.03%, in after-hour market trade.

In similar news, Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa)''s energy unit agreed to buy SNC-Lavalin Group''s AltaLink for about $C3.2 billion in cash to expand in electricity transmission in western Canada.

Elsewhere, LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE:LNKD) was slated to move, as shares plummeted 2.62% pre-market after the company gave a second-quarter sales forecast that missed analysts'' estimates.

Meanwhile, Nike (NYSE:NKE) was likely to be active after Chief Executive Mark Parker said on Thursday the footwear and athletic apparel company was considering shifting its production within China following a major strike at a supplier''s factory.

Other stocks likely to be in focus included Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL), scheduled to report quarterly results later in the day.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were mixed to lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.20%, France’s CAC 40 slid 0.35%, Germany''s DAX dipped 0.01%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 edged up 0.08%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng gained 0.57%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.19%.

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