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U.S. stock-index futures held on to solid gains after fresh data showed the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in November.
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As of 8:36 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 70 points, or 0.46%, to 15889, S&P 500 futures advanced 9.3 points, or 0.5%, to 1794 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 17 points, or 0.5%, to 3496.
The bears have staged a tepid comeback, sending the Dow and S&P 500 falling for the past five sessions -- the longest losing streak since late September. The losses have been driven by a string of solid economic data that have ignited concerns that the Federal Reserve could begin paring back its massive bond-purchasing program sooner than expected.
The American economy added 203,000 jobs in November, higher than the 180,000 Wall Street anticipated. The unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage point to 7%, the lowest level since November 2008, while economists expected the rate to fall less to 7.2%. The labor force participation rate, which gauges the proportion of the population employed or seeking employment, rose to 63% from 62.8% in October.
Meanwhile, a reading on consumer sentiment from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan is expected to have risen to 76 in December from 75.1 the month before
Both of these economic reports come as retailers like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Gap (NYSE:GPS) deal with what is expected to be a tough holiday shopping season.
Elsewhere, in commodities, U.S. crude oil futures were flat at $97.39 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline climbed 0.64% to $2.73 a gallon. Gold fell $3.90, or 0.32%, to $1,228 a troy ounce.