Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday, as markets awaited the release of U.S. jobs data later in the day and on Friday, after mixed economic reports released on Wednesday fuelled fresh uncertainty over the strength of the country''s recovery.
Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.45% increase, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.50% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.50% climb.
On Thursday, the Institute for Supply Management said its services purchasing managers’ index came in at 54.0 in January, up from 53.0 in December. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 53.7. The employment component of the index rose to its highest level since November 2010.
The data eased concerns over a possible slowdown in U.S. recovery after Monday’s ISM manufacturing index showed that activity slumped to a seven-month low in January, which was partially the product of rough winter weather.
Separately, payroll processor ADP reported that private-sector non-farm payrolls rose by 175,000 in December, below expectations for an increase of 180,000, which dampened spirits though the numbers didn''t spark a sell-off.
Coca-Cola was likely to be in focus, as shares rallied 1.94% in pre-market trade after the company said it plans to purchase a 10% minority stake in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters for USD1.25 billion. Green Mountain shares skyrocketed 44.66% in early trading.
Twitter was also expected to be active, with shares down 17.55% pre-market after UBS cut its rating on the company to "sell" on Thursday, as Twitter''s first post-IPO earnings report sparked concerns over growth.
The company also said on Thursday that monthly users rose just 3.8% in the fourth quarter.
Elsewhere, Walt Disney posted first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates, sending shares up 3.40% in after-hour trade.
Other stocks likely to be in focus included PepsiCo, Discovery Communications and Molson Coors, scheduled to report quarterly results later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were sharply higher. The EURO STOXX 50 jumped 1.01%, France’s CAC 40 rallied 1.06%, Germany''s DAX surged 1.14%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 advanced 0.77%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng Index gained 0.72%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slipped 0.18%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish data on the trade balance, as well as the weekly report on initial jobless claims.