Futures added to gains Friday after Wall Street cheered a better-than-expected government employment report that pointed to an acceleration in economic recovery.
Non-farm payrolls jumped 200,000 in December, according to the Labor Department, pushing the jobless rate to a near three-year low of 8.5 percent. Economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 150,000.
"Today's figure should not come as a great surprise," said Todd Schoenberger, managing director of LandColt Trading, adding that recent macro data had been pointing to good results. "The wildcard is Januaryas retailers trim seasonal staff. An upside surprise for this month will validate the argument that an economic recovery is, indeed, talking place."
The report comes after a handful of employment reports on Thursday that boosted sentiment as the number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms fell to its lowest level since June last year, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Private sector employment climbed 325,000 in December, much stronger than expected, according to payrolls processor ADP.
And unemployment benefit claims dropped by 15,000 in the last week of 2011 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, according to the Labor Department.
In corporate news Citigroup's effort to sell its OneMain consumer lending unit to private equity buyers has ended without a deal, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Goldman Schs was downgraded by Wells Fargo to "market perform" from "outperform."
Alcoa fell after the aluminum producer said it will cut its global smelting capacity by 12 percent, becoming the first producer to take direct action to cut costs amid a steep drop in metal prices.
Boeing lost the 2011 order race by a wide margin and lagged European rival Airbus on deliveries for the ninth year in a row. It said it would fight back in 2012 with big sales of a revamped narrowbody.
In Europe, Commercial banks' overnight deposits at the European Central Bank hit a new record high of 455 billion euros ($582.3 billion), indicating banks prefer the safety of the central bank to higher rates they could get by lending to each other.
Japan bought 300 million euros ($383 million) worth of bonds sold by the euro zone's rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), in an auction on Thursday, a finance ministry official told Reuters on Friday.
The amount accounts for 10 percent of an oversubscribed 3 billion euros worth of bonds sold by EFSF on Thursday to raise funds for Ireland and Portugal.
—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: twitter.com/JeeYeonParkCNBC—
Coming Up Next Week:
MONDAY: Atlanta Fed Pres speaks, consumer credit, Sarkozy/Merkel meet; Earnings from Alcoa
TUESDAY: NFIB small biz optimism index, wholesale trade, San Francisco Fed Pres speaks, Kansas City Fed Pres speaks, 3-yr note auction, New Hampshire Primary
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, Atlanta Fed Pres speaks, oil inventories, Philadelphia Fed Pres speaks, 10-yr note auction, Beige Book, Monti/Merkel meet; Earnings from Lennar, Chevron interim results
THURSDAY: BoE announcement, ECB announcement, jobless claims, retail sales, business inventories, 30-yr bond auction
FRIDAY: International trade, import & export prices, consumer sentiment, Richmond Fed Pres speaks; Earnings from JPMorgan