Futures Shoot Higher After Strong Jobs Data

Futures jumped Friday after the latest employment numbers showed signs of a stablizing job market.

The jobs report showed 247,000 jobs were cutfrom nonfarm payrolls last month, less than the 320,000 expected, and the prior two months were revised to show 43,000 fewer jobs were lost from payrolls than first reported. The unemployment rate held at 9.4 percent.

"This is another indication that the economy is on an improving track and a confirmation that we're going to see a positive GDP number for the third quarter and we're going to be able to say that this recession ended in the third quarter of 2009," Robert Dye, senior economist at PNC Financial Services, told Reuters.

After a rally on Monday that sent the S&P above 1,000 for the first time since November, stocks had languished for the past few sessions amid jitters about this jobs report.

Heading into today's session, the Dow and S&P 500 are positive for the week by about 1%, while the Nasdaq is a few points lower. If all three can finish higher for the week, they would be up for the fourth consecutive week.

As usual, earnings reports slow down on Friday, but there are a few of note.

AIG shares soared in pre-market trading after the insurer easily surpassed expectations, posting its first profit in seven quarters.

The shares have gained 74 percent in the past few sessions for reasons that aren't totally clear. A short squeeze appears to be the most likely reason, rather than the earnings report.

Ford and GM are expected to be back in the spotlight after the Senate approved another $2 billionfor the "Cash For Clunkers" program.

After the bell, we'll hear from the one company that traditionally waits for a Friday afternoon to report its earnings: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway .

In yesterday's earnings news, Nvidia , CBS, , and Crocs all exceeded Wall Street's estimates.

- Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.