(Corrects month in 2nd paragraph to November, instead of December)
NEW YORK - U.S. stocks futures pointed to a sharply higher open on Friday after the government said employers cut far fewer jobs than expected in November, signaling a strengthening labor market.
U.S. employers cut 11,000 jobs in November, the smallest decline since the start of the recession in December 2007, while the unemployment rate fell to 10 percent from 10.2 percent, the Labor Department said.
An improving labor market is considered crucial to a recovering economy.
We are not dragging this anchor anymore. We have been moving toward creating jobs here, said Burt White, managing director and chief investment officer at LPL Financial in Boston. This is a great number, and expect the market to reward it handsomely.
S&P 500 futures rose 12.1 points and were slightly above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 113 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures added 20 points.
The gains suggested a broad advance on Friday, with manufacturer and technology shares among the likely standouts.
Bank of America Corp
U.S. monthly factory orders are expected later Friday.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)