Stock Futures Sink Amid Economic Worries


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U.S. stock-index futures were stuck deep in negative territory as traders grew increasingly concerned about the pace of expansion for the world's biggest economy.

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Today's Markets

As of 9:00 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 114 points to 12864, S&P 500 futures dipped 14.7 points to 1376 and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 26.8 points to 2727.

Many major equity markets, including those in the U.S., Europe and Asia, were closed when the Labor Department released its monthly jobs report on Friday. The data showed the economy adding only 120,000 jobs last month, the smallest gain since October, and far less than many economists expected.

The report sparked worries among many analysts that the pace of job growth that seemed robust just months ago may already be sputtering. Indeed, investment-banking giant Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) sent a note to clients following the report saying "largely because of the weakness in the employment report, our standard metrics for evaluating the U.S. data flow have also started to send a less upbeat message."

This week is set to be quieter on the economic front, with data focusing mainly on inflation and the balance of trade. However, economists are likely to pay close attention to the weekly jobless claims report on tap for Friday.

Commodities markets took a hit, tracking a weak performance across equity markets. Crude oil traded in New York fell $1.44, or 1.4%, to $101.86 a barrel. Wholesale RBOB gasoline dipped 4 cents, or 1.1%, to $3.305 a gallon.

In metals, gold rose $13.50, or 0.83%, to $1,644 a troy ounce. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was little changed at 2.062%.

Corporate News

AOL (NYSE:AOL) struck a deal to sell 800 patents to Microsoft (NASDAQMSFT) for $1.056 billion. Shares soared close to 40% in early trading.

Avon (NYSE:AVP) said it is tapping Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) executive Sherilyn McCoy as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Foreign Markets

The Japanese Nikkei 225 sold off by 1.5% to 9546 and the Chinese Hang Seng slumped 0.95% to 20593.

European markets were closed for a holiday.

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