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Futures Jump After Jobs Report; Apple Up

Stocks index futures soared Friday after a smaller-than-expected job loss in May.

Nonfarm employers cut payrolls by 345,000 last month, well below the 525,000-drop expected. And, the previous month was revised to show fewer jobs were lost than initially reported. The unemployment rate, however, jumped to 9.4 percent, the highest since August 1983 and higher than the 9.2 percent expected.

Setting the optimistic tone for the day, Apple shares gained 2.2 percent in premarket trading on news that CEO Steve Jobs would retake the company's helm later this month. Jobs took a health-related, six-month leave in January.

In financials, AIG priced a secondary public offering of Transatlantic Holdings at $38 each as it the insurer prepares to shed assets to repay a government loan package with $180 billion. Heavily traded Transatlantic shares were off more than 3 percent premarket after closing Thursday at $41.

And regional bank Keycorp picked up 2.3 percent premarket after RBC upgraded the company to "top pick" from "sector perform."

Mining stocks led European indexes into the green after Rio Tinto scrapped a proposed deal with China's Chinalco by combining its iron ore operations with BHP Billiton. Asian stocks ended mostly higher. US-traded shares of Rio Tinto gained nearly 8 percent premarket.

The Dow registered its highest close since Jan. 7 in Thursday trading, while the Nasdaq closed at its best since Oct. 6.

Also on the economic front, the government releases April consumer credit figures at 3 pm New York time, with a drop of $6 billion expected. These figures could be scrutinized more than usual, given the focus on tight credit markets.

The auto sector will also be in focus as investors watch to see if any legal blockades will be thrown in front of Chrysler's plan to close dealerships. And The Wall Street Journal is reporting that General Motors will announce a preliminary deal to sell its Saturn division to Penske Automotive Group.

- Peter Schacknow, senior producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk, contributed to this report.