FOX Business: The Power to Prosper
Stock-index futures trimmed modest losses on Friday morning after fresh data revealed the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell last month even while the economy added fewer jobs than expected.
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As of 8:37 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 16 points to 11,960, S&P 500 futures dipped 3 points to 1,253 and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 10.5 points to 2,351.
The U.S. economy -- the world's biggest -- has come into focus this week along with a slew of headlines from Europe. The economy added 80,000 jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate down to 9%, according to a closely-watched report from the Labor Department. Economists had expected the economy to add 95,000 jobs,while the unemployment rate held steady at 9.1%. The private sector added 104,000 jobs, while the government shed 24,000.
There were also significant upward revisions to September's report. Indeed, according to a calculation by BTIG, a global trading firm, the increase for prior months effectively pushes October's increase to 102,000, which is well above the consensus forecast.
The Federal Reserve has kept short term interest rates at historical lows, and crafted unconventional easing programs, in a bid to jumpstart hiring, but the labor market has remained weak since the financial crisis in 2008. Indeed, the jobless rate is only 10.1 percentage points lower than its recent 2009 peak, and well higher than levels that are considered to be the so-called "natural" level of unemployment.
Headlines from Europe, where policymakers are struggling to stem the deepening sovereign debt crisis before it continues spreading to larger economies, have ruled the day in the past several sessions. Indeed, the Dow plunged nearly 600 points in the first two sessions only to soar close to 400 points in the next two.
The Group of 20 industrial and developing countries is finishing up its summit Friday in which world leaders have been grappling with fears that Europe's debt crisis could put the entire global economy in peril. Traders' anxiety was heightened when German Chancellor Angela Merkel said hardly any G-20 countries have agreed to participate in the region's bailout fund.
Additionally, Greece's beleaguered Prime Minister George Papandreou faces a confidence vote on Friday after his plans to hold a national referendum on the country's much needed bailout ignited fury across the globe, and quashed credibility in his government.
On the corporate front, Groupon priced its initial public offering at $20 a share Thursday night, well higher than the $16 to $18 initially expected. The local deals company is set to begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Friday morning and is considered one of the highest profile online IPOs of the year.
The euro rose 0.08% to $1.38, while European blue chips climbed 0.47%. Yields on U.S. government debt were little changed. The 10-year Treasury note yields 2.082% from 2.079%.
Energy markets moved to the upside. The benchmark American crude oil contract rose 33 cents, or 0.35%, to $94.40 a barrel. Wholesale RBOB gasoline gained 2 cents, or 0.68%, to $2.66 a gallon.
Gold fell $7.20, or 0.41%, to $1,758.
European blue chips rose 0.47%, the English FTSE 100 jumped 0.88% to 5,595 and the German DAX gained 0.09% to 6,139.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rallied 1.9% to 8,801 and the Chinese Hang Seng soared 3.1% to 19,843.