Stock Futures Pare Gains After Disappointing Friday Jobs Report

By Mark DeCambreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stock futures cut earlier gains on Friday after a closely watched employment reading from the Labor Department came in weaker than expected. The Friday jobs report showed that 138,000 jobs were created in May, compared with an average estimate of economists polled by MarketWatch for 185,000 jobs. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average , which had risen by as many as 85 points, were only up 21 points, or 0.2% at 21,153, futures for the S&P 500 index were trading flat at 2,430, while futures for the Nasdaq-100 showed a gain of 11.25 points, or 0.1%, at 5,833. One bright spot in the day's report, the unemployment rate fell to 4.3%. However, market participants had been expecting Friday's labor-market figures to help confirm continued strength in employment after a private-sector reading for May from the Automatic Data Processing Inc. came in better-than-expected on Thursday, showing a gain of 253,000. On Thursday, the Dow , the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index registered all-time highs on the back of optimism over the private-sector report. Wall Street is watching the employment report closely as the data help the Federal Reserve determine the pace of monetary-policy tightening, with the central bank expected to lift benchmark interest rates mid-July.

Copyright © 2017 MarketWatch, Inc.

Continue Reading Below