* Investors cautious ahead of jobs report
* RIM jumps on strong results after the bell
* Futures up: S&P 1.90 points, Dow 6, Nasdaq 4.50
By Leah Schnurr
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to
a higher open Friday on growing hopes that data pointing to
an easing of the deep recession will prove to be lasting,
despite what could be another dismal U.S. jobs report.
In the latest sign that consumers continue to spend,
Research in Motion posted surprisingly strong
results and gave a rosy outlook after Thursday's closing bell.
The BlackBerry maker's U.S.-listed stock surged 22.2 percent to
$60.01 in premarket trade.
The nonfarm payrolls report is expected to show the economy
shed 650,000 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate is
expected to climb to 8.5 percent, according to Reuters data.
Despite the gloomy picture the data is likely to paint,
Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham
Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont said it will be
encouraging if stocks rally in the face of bad news.
Stocks have surged in recent sessions on signs the
recession is moderating.
"The market has a positive upward bias and is going to try
to look through the employment report. Whether it can overcome
the bears remains to be seen," said Mendelsohn.
S&P 500 futures rose 1.90 points and were 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 were up 6
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 4.50 points.
The broad S&P 500 has climbed 23.3 percent off the 12-year
lows hit in early March, while the Dow is on track for its best
four-week rally since 1933.
Data on nonmanufacturing ISM is on tap at 10 a.m.
In Washington, Congress approved budget blueprints late on
Thursday but left many hard choices until later. With no
Republican support, the House of Representatives and Senate
approved slightly different, less expensive versions of
President Barack Obama's $3.55 trillion budget plan for fiscal
Thursday stocks rallied for a third day as more data
suggested the economy could be starting to stabilize and
changes to an accounting rule were seen as shoring up the
volatile financial sector in the short term.
(Editing by James Dalgleish)
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