By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK (Reuters) - 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 trading.
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 economy.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)