Futures Slump Amid Euro Zone Worries
Futures zig-zagged in volatile pre-market trading Friday after the monthly government non-farm payroll rose less than expected and as traders continued to closely monitor events in the euro zone as the G20 Summit in France took place.
U.S. employment rose less than expected in October, but a drop in the jobless rate to a six-month low of 9.0 percent and upward revisions to prior months' job gains pointed to underlying strength in the labor market.
Nonfarm payrolls rose 80,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, missing economists' expectations for a gain of 95,000. However, figures for August and September were revised to show 102,000 more jobs than previously reported.
"Today's report should be welcome relief in a week of earth-moving headlines out of Europe," said Todd Schoenberger, managing director at LandColt Trading. "The question remaining is consistency. The recent macro data, and the dip below 400K in jobless claims warrants much-deserved optimism—Traders should cheer this report."
Greece also dominated the thoughts of world leaders as Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou faces a confidence vote in Parliament that could determine whether his country will stay in the euro zone or leave the single currency and default on its debts.
Meanwhile, Greece's finance ministry said the nation has dropped its plans to hold a referendum, which had threatened to plunge the debt-ridden into a crisis.
Investors were also watching developments in Italy, which has agreed to have the IMF and EU monitor its progress on long-delayed economic reforms.
Among earnings, AIG third-quarter results missed expectations following an impairment charge in its aircraft leasing unit.
Starbucks quarterly profit beat expectations following strong global sales at cafes.
Acquisition news will also be in the spotlight, a sale is expected to be agreed by the end of the weekend of MF Global's operations in Asia and Australia after the provisional liquidator for the brokerage's Hong Kong received nearly 40 credible offers.
Separately, MF Global may have temporarily slashed the debt it was carrying before publicly reporting its finances each quarter, disguising its debt levels to investors, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal.
PepsiCo’s beverage subsidiary in China is being sold in China to an unlisted unit of instant noodle and drinks maker Tingyi Holdings, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Groupon has raised $700 million in an initial public offering, making it the largest IPO by an Internet company since Google in 2004.
Banks will also be in the spotlight, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that the Bank of New York Mellon is in talks with federal prosecutors over a currency lawsuit which accuses the bank of overcharging clients.
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