U.S. stock index futures are pointing to a solidly positive open this morning, but that could be rendered irrelevant by the government's June jobs report, due out at 8:30 a.m. ET. The major averages are on track for a second consecutive weekly gain, pending the outcome of today's session, something that hasn't happened since the weeks of May 11 and May 18.
Consensus forecasts for the employment report call for 160,000 new non-farm jobs for June, compared to 175,000 in May. The unemployment rate is seen edging lower to 7.5 percent from May's 7.6 percent.
There are no earnings reports on the calendar today, though the traditional start to earnings season is just ahead on Monday afternoon when Dow component Alcoa (AA) releases its quarterly numbers.
Some of the pre-employment report enthusiasm from investors comes courtesy of the European Central Bank and Bank of England, both of which left key rates unchanged on Thursday while sending signals of easier monetary policy.
Sprint (S) is among our stocks to watch today, with multiple reports saying the FCC has unanimously cleared Softbank's proposed acquisition of the majority of Sprint shares, as well as the Sprint proposal to buy the portion of Clearwire (CLWR) that it doesn't already own.
Zynga (ZNGA) will give its new chief executive Don Mattrick a pay package worth about $50 million – mostly in stock-related compensation – in the coming years. An SEC filing shows Mattrick will get a base salary of $1 million in his first year, along with a signing bonus of $5 million and a 2013 bonus of $2 million.
Walt Disney (DIS) is seeing a holiday disappointing at the movie box office, with "The Lone Ranger" performing below expectations and raising the possibility that Disney could lose money on the $225 million film.
TransDigm (TDG) declared a special dividend of $22 per share, which will be payable on July 25. TransDigm is a maker of aircraft components and made the move in an effort to boost shareholder returns.
Nokia (NOK) saw its debt rating lowered by Standard & Poor's, after it bought out the share held by Siemens in their networking equipment joint venture. S&P cites negative free operating cash flow prospects, although it did term Nokia's outlook "stable".