US Stock Futures Signal Lower Open Ahead Of Nonfarm Payrolls, Unemployment Reports

  on December 07 2012 4:38 AM

The U.S. stock index futures point to a lower open Friday ahead of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' nonfarm payrolls report and unemployment report.

The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.10 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.14 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.24 percent. 

Investors are likely to focus on the nonfarm payrolls report Friday. The report, which measures the change in the number of people employed during the previous month, excluding the farming industry, is expected to increase 93,000 in November, down from 171,000 in October.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its unemployment report, which measures the percentage of the total workforce that was unemployed and actively seeking employment during the previous month. The November unemployment rate is expected to marginally rise to 8 percent from 7.9 percent in October.

On Thursday, the U.S. stocks rose as market confidence was lifted amid the hope that the Congress would soon reach an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff. Meanwhile, according to the data released Thursday by the Department of Labor, the weekly jobless claims report, which measures the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time, rose to 370,000 in the week ending Dec. 1, down from 395,000 in the previous week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.30 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.33 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.52 percent.

 Asian stocks fell Friday as investor sentiment turned negative amid the concerns about the economic condition after the Asian Development Bank slightly lowering the 2012 and 2013 growth forecasts for developing Asia. According to the Asian Development Outlook released Friday by the ADB, developing Asia is expected to grow 6.0 percent in 2012 and 6.6 percent in 2013, down by 0.1 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 19.48 points, Japan’s Nikkei was down 17.77 points and India’s Sensex declined 62.36 points.  

European markets were mixed Friday as investors were watchful amid the revival of the concerns about the debt crisis affecting the euro zone. On Thursday, the European Central Bank gave the forecast that the euro zone economy would fall 0.5 percent this year and 0.3 percent in 2013. London's FTSE 100 was up 1.37 points, Germany's DAX 30 index rose 2.68 points and France's CAC 40 declined 2.45 points.

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