* January payrolls disappoint, December revised up slightly
* Futures up: Dow 75 pts, S&P 12 pts, Nasdaq 27 pts
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Feb 7 U.S. stocks were set to open
higher on Friday even as data showed U.S. employers hired fewer
workers than expected in January and job gains for December were
barely revised up.
Nonfarm payrolls rose 113,000, the Labor Department said, on
an expectation of a 185,000 gain. December payrolls were raised
only 1,000 to 75,000.
Strong job gains in construction hint that cold weather was
probably not a major factor in January job creation, but traders
appeared to expect an upward revision. The data also showed job
gains in key sectors including manufacturing.
"If you drill down in the components, jobs created were in
the sectors you want to see strength," said Quincy Krosby,
market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.
Concern about recent soft U.S. data added to worries about
growth in China and a selloff in emerging market currencies and
equities to take stocks lower worldwide in the past weeks. The
S&P 500, down 4 percent from a record high hit last month, has
slipped 0.5 percent this week and could post its fourth weekly
decline in a row, a streak not seen since July-August 2011.
S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 12 points and traded
above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking
into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on
the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose
75 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 27 points.
The tech sector could get a boost from Apple. The
iPhone maker said it bought $12 billion worth of shares via an
accelerated share repurchase program and $2 billion more from
the open market in the two weeks since it reported earnings.
Apple shares were up 1.9 percent in premarket
LinkedIn shares fell 6.9 percent in premarket
trading after the social network for professionals gave revenue
forecasts that were below those of analysts.
Shares of Fairway Group Holdings tumbled 22 percent
in trading before the opening bell a day after it posted
quarterly results and announced changes in management.
U.S. stocks posted their best day of the year on Thursday in
the wake of sturdy corporate results and a drop in applications
for unemployment insurance, which boosted confidence in the