Futures Edge Higher After Jobs Report
U.S. stock index futures drifted into positive territory Friday after a slightly better-than-expected monthly jobs report.
U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, according to the Labor Department, mostly in line with analysts' expectations and slightly below the level for November. The unemployment rate edged higher to 7.8 percent.
"[The number] was a bit disappointing to those who thought the ADP data was a reliable tell of a stronger number," wrote Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman. "However, the details were stronger than expected...The manufacturing sector remains a key bright spot for the U.S. economy. Upward revisions added another 38,000 jobs, which if added back to the headline, would be close to the 200,000 increase that some economists forecast."
Also on the economic front, factory orders for November and the ISM non-manufacturing report for December are scheduled for release at 10 am ET.
Stocks finished slightly in the red Thursday, as investors became nervous that the Federal Reserve could take action to end bond purchases earlier than expected. Still, all major indexes are still on track to finish sharply higher for the week.
Citigroup edged higher after Goldman Sachs added the bank to its "conviction buy" list. Meanwhile, JPMorgan was removed from Goldman's "conviction buy" list, though the brokerage still rates the stock a "buy."
Lululemon slumped after the sports apparel retailer was downgraded to "neutral" from "outperform" at Credit Suisse.
Chipmakers including Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and Texas Instruments will be in focus after the Semiconductor Industry Association reported that November sales were up 2 percent from a year earlier, marking 2012's first year-over-year gain for the industry.