Futures move higher on improved earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures rose Thursday as the government released its latest jobs report and U.S. corporations continued to post strong quarterly earnings.

A broad spectrum of companies from different sectors, Verizon, Morgan Stanley and PepsiCo, topped Wall Street expectations for the first quarter before the opening bell.

Dow Jones industrial futures rose 37 points to 14,592. The broader S&P futures added 4.9 points to 1,551. Nasdaq futures gained 10.75 points to 2,785.25.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for unemployment benefits ticked up slightly last week, but number of applications, 352,000 in all, was seen as more evidence that a terrible jobs report for March was an anomaly.

After the closing bell, the tech sector weighs in with earnings from IBM, Google and Microsoft.

The sector has been rattled this week by some unsettling data. Shares of Apple Inc. tumbled to a 52-week low Wednesday after a forecast from one of its suppliers hinted at a slowdown in demand for iPhones and iPads.

After the market closed Wednesday, eBay posted strong quarterly earnings, but its outlook sent shares of the e-commerce company sliding. Shares of eBay fell more than 3 percent in premarket trading Thursday, but it’s still close to an all-time high.

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