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U.S. stock-index futures cut gains after payrolls report

U.S. stock-index futures trimmed their rise on Friday after the all-important non-farm payrolls report for December came in below expectations. European shares also traded higher early in the day.

The government reported the addition of 74,000 nonfarm payrolls last month, with the unemployment rate falling to 6.7 percent. The jobs report was expected to show that around 200,000 new jobs were created last month.

"The economy, based on any number of other indicators, has been picking up steam of late which makes today's number….curious. We aren't sure how the Fed should react to this number but we think another reduction at the January FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting is probably unlikely. Investors though have already cast their vote; bad news is bad news," emailed Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG.


Target on Friday said stolen information in the recent mass data breach involved as many as 70 million customers, and that its sales have been "meaningfully weaker than expected" since. Shares of the discount retailer fell in pre-market trading.

Wholesale inventories for November will be published at 10 a.m.

Alcoa (AA) released fourth-quarter earnings after the close of trade on Thursday. The U.S.'s largest aluminium producer announced a quarterly loss after recent declines in aluminium prices led to a $1.7 billion impairment charge.

Also on Thursday, Alcoa agreed to pay $384 million to settle the charges levied by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for corrupt practices.

(Read more: Drilling down, Cramer sees many Alcoa positives)

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato

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