Tuesday, June 10, 2014

U.S. stock futures plunge on jobs report

U.S. stock futures plunged Friday after the Labor Department said 203,000 new jobs were added in November and the unemployment rate fell to 7% from 7.3% a month earlier.

Dow Jones industrial average index futures reversed course and fell 0.4% from a gain of 0.4% ahead of the report's release. The Standard & Poor's 500 index futures followed suit, falling 0.4% from a gain of 0.4%. The Nasdaq index futures were down 0.2% from an earlier gain of 0.3%.

Economists had forecast that employers added 180,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate was expected to just dip to 7.2%.

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On Thursday, the Dow fell 0.4% to 15,821.51. The S&P 500 dropped 0.4% to 1,785.03. The Nasdaq composite 0.1% to 4,033.16.

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A 23,000 fall in weekly U.S. jobless claims to 298,000 added to the evidence that the U.S. economy is growing strongly and that stimulus from the Federal Reserve, which has kept interest rates low to spur recovery, will be reduced.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average rose 0.8% to 15,299.86 on Friday. Benchmarks in Europe mostly advanced.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude for January delivery was up 3 cents at $97.41 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 18 cents to close at $97.38 on Thursday.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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