US stock advanced for the third consecutive session on Thursday, helped by a rebound in overseas markets even as continuing weakness in the job market kept investors on a wait-and-watch mode.  Financials showed strength after American International Group said it expects to repay the bailout loans.  Stocks remained under pressure in the early trading but drifted higher through the afternoon as investors, encouraged by a positive reading on manufacturing front, chose to hunt for bargains.  However, volume remained light.   

US stock futures rose moderately Friday, pointing to a higher open on Wall Street as investors turn their focus towards Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke who speaks at the Jackson Hole conference.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 71 points, or 0.8% and the S&P 500 index added 11 points, or 1.1%. The Nasdaq composite (COMP) rose 20 points, or 1%.  On the New York Stock Exchange, advancing stocks beat those that fell seven to three on volume of 1.05 billion shares.

In another sign that investors are being careful, treasury prices gained with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note falling to 3.43% from 3.46%.  The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices declined.

Yesterday all ten S&P500 industry sectors advanced, led by financials (+2.4%), industrials (+1.1%), and tech shares (+1.0%).  Among the financial issues, AIG (NYSE:AIG) jumped 21.25% after the firm noted it will likely be able to repay government bailout funds.  Citigroup (NYSE:C) soared 8.5% after analyst Richard Bove said Citi shares would triple in three years on increasing expectations sale of sour assets will enable its profitability. Also helping sentiments was news on next week’s budget expectations, pointing to lowered budget deficit expectations after the elimination of a $250 billion provision for bailing out more banks.

Among tech issues, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) advanced 3.7% after Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) noted higher revenue growth for the company.  Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) also added the firm to its Conviction Buy List.

Today’s corporate results include JM Smucker (NYSE:SJM) and Ann Taylor (NYSE:ANN).

Zacks Investment Research