* Feb nonfarm payroll growth beats estimates
* HP Enterprise up after strong results
* Futures up: Dow 77 pts, S&P 9.5 pts, Nasdaq 27 pts (Adds details, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 4 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open higher on Friday, after data showed the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in February.
The Labor Department’s report on nonfarm payrolls showed an addition of 242,000 in February, more than the 190,000 expected by economists polled by Reuters.
In a separate report, data showed trade deficit widened to $45.7 billion in January, below the $44 billion estimated, as a strong dollar and weak global demand helped push exports to a near six-year low.
At 8:33 a.m. ET (1333 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 77 points, or 0.46 percent, with 26,262 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were up 9.5 points, or 0.48 percent, with 215,969 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 27 points, or 0.62 percent, on volume of 26,292 contracts.
The upbeat jobs report adds to a recent string of positive data that points to a modest recovery in the U.S. economic growth, and strengthen the Federal Reserve’s case to gradually raise interest rates this year.
With corporate earnings winding down, investors will now focus on macro-economic data as they wait for the Fed’s next move. The central bank’s rate-setting committee is scheduled to meet on March 15-16.
Stock markets worldwide edged higher as investor concerns about a weakening global economy eased, following encouraging data from major economies this week. Crude prices also rose.
Wall Street closed higher on Thursday as the energy sector moved into positive territory for the year.
Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise was up 9.6 percent at $14.90 premarket after the company reported better-than-expected profit and revenue.
Carmike Cinemas was up 17.5 percent at $29.50 after AMC Entertainment said it would buy the theater chain for $1.1 billion, including debt. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)