Ahead of payrolls, stock futures signal dip

May 4th, 201210:31 am @

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PARIS |
Fri May 4, 2012 6:11am EDT

PARIS (Reuters) – Stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Wall Street on Friday, with futures for the SP 500 down 0.12 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.06 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.04 percent at 4:50 a.m. EDT (0850 GMT).

European shares were down around 0.8 percent in morning trade, ahead of a potentially tumultuous weekend for European politics where France and Greece have elections.

All eyes will be on the U.S. monthly payrolls figures, due at 1230 GMT. Employers likely increased hiring in April to add 170,000 workers to their payrolls, according to a Reuters survey of economists, up from March’s meager print of 120,000, while the rise might not be enough to lower the country’s 8.2 percent jobless rate.

After the closing bell, LinkedIn Corp (LNKD.N) reported better-than-expected revenue and profit, racking up strong growth from services that help companies find and hire employees. The stock jumped 7 percent to $117.10 in extended trade. The firm’s shares traded in Frankfurt (LNKD.F) were up 9 percent.

United Parcel Service (UPS.N) said it approved a new $5 billion share buyback program and increased the amount of cash it would pay to finance its largest takeover in its nearly 105-year history. The largest package delivery company said it now expects to use about $5 billion in cash and to issue about $1.8 billion in new debt to fund its purchase of Dutch company TNT Express (TNTE.AS).

Kraft Foods Inc’s (KFT.N) profit slightly exceeded Wall Street estimates, after the company raised prices and shipped more Easter chocolates in the first quarter. North America’s largest packaged food maker also reaffirmed its full-year growth targets on Thursday and said it was on track with plans to split into two companies later this year.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) would have been required to post $5.1 billion in collateral under derivatives contracts as of March 31 if major ratings agencies had downgraded its debt by two notches, the bank said in a quarterly filing on Thursday.

Fruit and fresh vegetable distributor Dole Food Co Inc (DOLE.N) may spin off one or more of its units as the company initiated a strategic business review of its business.

Cablevision Systems Corp (CVC.N) added more video subscribers than expected in the first quarter, but its shares fell 8 percent as investors balked at the declining profit and cash-flow growth it reported on Thursday.

Bailed-out insurer American International Group (AIG.N) said quarterly profit more than doubled from a year earlier, exceeding expectations with the help of investment gains.

Toy maker LeapFrog Enterprises Inc (LF.N) posted strong quarterly results, helped by an earlier Easter and strong demand for its LeapPad learning tablet, sending its shares up 9 percent after the bell.

Spiraling development and operational costs nearly wiped off Thompson Creek Metals Co Inc’s (TCM.TO) first-quarter profit.

Audio technology licensor Dolby Labs Inc (DLB.N) signed an agreement with Microsoft (MSFT.O) for the use of its products in the Windows 8 operating system, and posted a second-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates.

Wastewater management company Heckmann Corp (HEK.N) forecast strong revenue for the full year, helped by its acquisition of Thermo Fluids, sending its shares up 10 percent in extended trading.

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday as economic data sent mixed signals on the recovery a day before the April payrolls report, while shares of Green Mountain (GMCR.O) plunged after poor results.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI dropped 61.98 points, or 0.47 percent, to 13,206.59 at the close. The Standard Poor’s 500 Index .SPX fell 10.74 points, or 0.77 percent, to 1,391.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC lost 35.55 points, or 1.16 percent, to 3,024.30.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/KDs0AhoXsxc/us-markets-stocks-idUSBRE83T09920120504