GO
Loading...

US stock-index futures jump on better-than-expected jobs report

U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Friday, as investors welcomed news that the U.S. economy created 175,000 jobs in February, with the number exceeding expectations.

"The winter months of December through February averaged 129,000 jobs compared with 230,000 in the same months last winter, thus pointing to the weather impact, but there is no more excuses going forward and hopefully we'll get a snapback," emailed Peter Boockvar, chief market strategist at the Lindsey Group.

"That said, the inflation component of higher wages, combined with higher commodity prices is something that bonds should start paying attention to and the 10-year yield at 2.80 percent is the highest since mid-January," Boockvar added.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield, down 1 basis point at 2.726 percent before the report, shot up 7 basis points in its wake, to 2.805 percent.

The government also revised the prior month higher, now estimated that 129,000 jobs were added in January.

The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent, versus the consensus forecast that it would remained at 6.6 percent in February – a smidgen off the 6.5 percent-mark at which the Federal Reserve has said it will consider raising record-low interest rates.

Sentiment on the NFP report was lifted slightly on Thursday by data which showed jobless benefits fell to a three-month low last week. In addition, Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that the number of companies planning job cuts fell in February.

Friday will also bring the latest U.S. trade report and consumer credit figures for January.

Investors' other main focus will be on the escalating tension between the West and Russia over Ukraine.

On Thursday, the parliament of Ukraine's Crimea region voted to cede from Ukraine and join Russia. The region's Moscow-backed government plans to hold a plebiscite on ceding within 10 days.

(Track: European markets live)

President Barack Obama ordered sanctions for those responsible for Moscow's bloodless invasion of Crimea, including bans on travel to the U.S. and freezing of U.S. assets.

"The crisis doesn't look like its over, even if markets have become a bit more sanguine about the endgame," said Jim Reid and Anthony Ip of Deutsche Bank in a research note on Friday.

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato