U.S. stock index futures are adding to gains after a better-than-expected increase in new jobs in July. While stronger than anticipated, the jobs report may still leave open the door for additional stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
Non-farm payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 163,000 jobs in July, after a downwardly revised 64,000 increase in June. The unemployment rate stood at 8.3 percent, up from 8.2 percent in June. This was the 42nd consecutive month of unemployment above 8 percent. Economists had been looking for the creation of about 100,000 new jobs in the month with the unemployment rate holding steady. July average hourly earnings increased 0.1 percent versus a June increase of 0.3 percent.
"The upside surprise in the July jobs report will have an immediate impact on stocks and confidence," said Todd Schoenberger, managing principal at The BlackBay Group. "It also reinforces the non-action by the Fed this week as it buys Bernanke and company time to implement a shock-and-awe monetary policy program. However, sustainable growth in jobs in the coming months will help keep such action on the shelf. Wall Street will applaud this report."
The Institute for Supply Management’s July non-manufacturing index, which tracks monthly changes in the services sector, is out at 10:00 a.m. Economists polled by Briefing.com predict the index rose to 52.3 from 52.1 in June. A reading above 50 indicates expansion for the sector.
Stocks closed lower for a fourth straight session yesterday after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi disappointed markets by not taking immediate action to contain the euro zone debt crisis. Draghi did lay out a plan for the ECB to start buying bonds again, but not before September and only if governments activate the euro zone's bail-out funds. (Read More: Has Mario Draghi Put the Euro in 'No-Man's Land'?).
European sharesare rebounding from Thursday's drop in response to Draghi's failure to cut interest rates or announce immediate measures to support Spain and Italy.
Knight Capital Group continues to fight for survival after the Wednesday software trading glitch that cost it $440 million.
In earnings news, Dow component Procter & Gambleearned 82 cents per share for its fiscal fourth quarter, five cents above estimates. Revenue was light as sales and margins declined, however. P&G is forecasting current quarter profits of 91 to 97 cents per share, below Street estimates of $1.03.
Kraft Foods , also a Dow component, earned 68 cents per sharefor the second quarter, two cents above estimates. While revenue fell short of estimates, the food producer left its full-year forecasts unchanged.
In the media space, Viacom earned 97 cents per share for the fiscal third quarter, three cents below estimates. Viacom cited weaker ad sales for the shortfall as well as a big drop in movie studio results.
CBS , meanwhile, reported a second-quarter profit of 65 cents per share, six cents above estimates, on strong results from its cable networks and an increase in profit margins.
Activision Blizzard beat estimates by eight centswith a second-quarter profit of 20 cents per share. Revenue came in well above consensus as well. The videogame producer raised its 2012 outlook, helped by strong sales of its new “Diablo III” game.
LinkedIn matched analyst estimates with earnings of 16 cents per share for the second quarter. Revenue beat forecasts, and the business social networking site raised its full-year outlook on better results from business and advertising services.
In financials, AIG earned $1.06 per sharefor the second quarter, well above analyst estimates of $0.57 on improvements at its insurance operations.
Japanese automaker Toyota reported a rebound in productionand sales in North America and Japan, with a quarterly operating profit of 353 billion yen ($4.51 billion).
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