Market Preview: Anybody's Guess
On the bright side, Shepherdson is looking for the unemployment rate to tick down to 8.1%. The pessimistic view of the decline in the unemployment rate from 9.1% in August to 8.2% last month is that this is reflective of a declining participation rate, people giving up on looking for jobs and dropping out of the workforce.
Shepherdson, though, believes this is only part of the story and argues that even if the economy's slow improvement kickstarts participation, the unemployment rate should continue to fall.
Briefing.com's own estimate is for nonfarm private payrolls to come in at 145,000.
As for the rest of Friday's scheduled news, there's a quarterly report expected from Berkshire Hathaway(BRK.B) , which seems sure to stir up another round of succession talk after Warren Buffett's announcement in mid-April that he's being treated for prostate cancer.
Other notable companies opening their books include AON Corp.(AON) , Church & Dwight(CHD) , Duke Energy(DUK) , Estee Lauder Cos.(EL) , Exelon Corp.(EXC) , Federal Signal(FSS) , Johnson Outdoors(JOUT) , Madison Square Garden(MSG) , Nathan's Famous(NATH) , and Washington Post(WPO) .
And finally, LinkedIn(LNKD) was the big mover in Thursday's extended session, surging nearly 9% after the business social networking company blew past Wall Street's expectations for its first quarter.
The company also gave a bullish forecast for the current quarter and said it's agreed to acquire privately held SlideShare, a service that allows professionals to share presentations, for $118.75 million in cash and stock.
The stock was last quoted at $119.15, up $9.74, on volume of 1.46 million, according to Nasdaq.com. Based on Thursday's regular-session closing price of $109.41, LinkedIn shares were up nearly 70% so far in 2012, and have appreciated more than 140% from their IPO pricing at $45 each.