* Twitter, LinkedIn climb in premarket after results
* GoPro stumbles after results, COO resignation
* Payrolls report tops expectations
* Futures up: Dow 72 pts, S&P 6.75 pts, Nasdaq 10.55 pts (Adds data, news on defense deal)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Feb 6 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were set to advance at the open on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track to extend its best weekly gain in seven, after a stronger-than-expected monthly payrolls report.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 257,000 last month, topping expectations for 234,000 jobs, and data for November and December was revised to show a whopping 147,000 more jobs created than previously reported. The unemployment rate ticked up to 5.7 percent as a result of an increased labor force.
“It was decent, the revision was definitely good,” said Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St. Louis.
The payrolls report is likely to heighten expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin to increase interest rates in June.
“The Fed has got to be very careful, they know it, they are going to be pretty much going against what every other major central bank on the face of the earth is doing and they want to be just very, very careful.”
Twitter jumped 12.1 percent to $ 46.25 before the opening bell after it beat Wall Street’s profit and revenue targets in the fourth quarter.
LinkedIn surged 10.8 percent to $ 263.75 after the corporate networking site reported a higher-than-expected 44 percent jump in quarterly revenue as more businesses used its services to assess candidates for employment.
But action camera maker GoPro Inc tumbled 13.4 percent to $ 47.10 after it forecast a current-quarter profit that could miss Wall Street expectations and said its chief operating officer was resigning.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 6.75 points and fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract, indicated a higher open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures rose 72 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 10.5 points.
According to Thomson Reuters data, of 306 companies that reported quarterly results in the S&P 500, 73.5 percent have topped Wall Street expectations, above the 69 beat rate for the past four quarters. The 6.4 percent expected growth for the quarter is down from the 11.2 percent growth expected on Oct. 1.
The S&P 500 is up 3.4 percent for the week, its best weekly performance since mid-December, buoyed by a rebound in oil prices. U.S. crude gained 2.6 percent to $ 51.82 on Friday while Brent advanced 2.6 percent to $ 58.05 as fighting in Libya and stronger economic signals from the United States helped futures recover from near-six-year lows.
In merger news, Harris Corp said it would buy Exelis Inc in a deal valued at about $ 4.75 billion, combining two big suppliers to the U.S. military at a time when the government is squeezing spending on defense. Harris shares rose 8.4 percent to $ 75.35 while Exelis jumped 36.1 percent to $ 24.11.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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