US futures up ahead of payrolls data

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WallStreet1234 REUTERS The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet.

New York - US stock index futures rose on Friday, following the strongest day of the year so far for equities, and ahead of the key government reading on payrolls for January.

* The non-farm payrolls report is due at 8:30 a.m. EST (15:30 SA time).

US employment likely rebounded in January after being held back by cold weather the prior month, with nonfarm payrolls expected to have increased by 185,000 last month.

December's number was a much-lower-than-expected 74,000 and an upward revision is also in the cards.

* The S&P 500, down 4 percent from a record high hit last month, has slipped 0.5 percent this week and is on track to post its fourth weekly decline in a row, a streak not seen since July-August 2011.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 5 points, slightly above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract.

Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 33 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 20 points.

* The tech sector could get a boost from Apple after the iPhone maker said it bought $12 billion worth of shares via an accelerated share repurchase program and $2 billion more from the open market in the two weeks since it reported earnings.

Apple shares were up 2 percent in premarket trading.

* LinkedIn shares fell 8 percent in premarket trading after the social network for professionals posted revenue forecasts that were below those of analysts.

* Shares of Fairway Group Holdings tumbled 33 percent in trading before the opening bell a day after it posted quarterly results and announced changes in management.

* US stocks enjoyed their best day of the year on Thursday in the wake of sturdy corporate results and a drop in applications for unemployment insurance, which boosted confidence in the economy. - Reuters

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