Stock index futures initially fell on the disappointing jobs report for September but then quickly recovered, but were still headed for a lower open.
The report heightened expectations that the Federal Reserve will pump more money into the financial system—known as quantitative easing—to help spur growth.
"The twisted irony is this should be perceived as a negative, but Wall Street is banking on heavy Fed involvement to help push stocks higher for the rest of the year," said Todd M. Schoenberger, managing director LandColt Trading. "The result could be an increase in risk appetite for equities and a move away from 'safer' and tangible investments like Treasuries and gold."
The markets also were waiting for wholesale inventory data for August, which is expected at 10 a.m.
Investors will also be looking out for remarks by policymakers at a meeting of IMF/G7 officials which starts on Friday and will address rising tension over currency policies.
Hours before the gathering kicked off, Japan’s finance minister warned that the country will continue to intervene in foreign exchange marketswhen deemed necessary. The Japanese authorities, who are worried a strong yen will hit the country’s export sector, intervened in the market for the first time in six years last month.
The U.S. dollar was up slightly against a basket of currencies on Friday, while gold continued to rise.
Stocks to watch on Friday include Sanofi-Aventis , which dismissed suggestions by bid target Genzyme that it had opened the door to paying a higher price for the US biotech company.
Amazon.com will open an applications store that runs on Google's mobile Android platform, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Amazon.com's entry into the mobile-applications marketplace would open a new battlefield with Apple, the paper said.
Bank of America raised its price target for Apple to $400 a share from $360, while Oppenheimer raised its price target to $345 from $330, and said it would buy the stock ahead of fourth-quarter earnings.
Shares of Motorola, meanwhile, fell after Citigroup cut the telecom company to "hold" from "buy."
Shares of Alcoa rose more than 2 percent in pre-market trading after the aluminimum producer reported third-quarter profit above Wall Street expectations after the bell on Thursday. Alcoa also issued an upbeat outlook, raising its forecast for global aluminum demand this year to 13 percent from 12 percent.
Shares of Coca-Cola and Pepsi were both slightly higher in pre-market trading after Coke was reinstated as a "buy" and Pepsi was removed from the "conviction buy" list at Goldman Sachs.
In Europe, shares opened lower, with energy stocks among the top decliners.
On Tap Today:
FRIDAY: September non-farm payrolls; Wholesale trade; NY Comic Con; IMF, World Bank annual meetings
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