Futures Rally After Jobs Data; Rate Hits 7.8%
U.S stock index futures added to gains Friday, after the S&P 500 logged its 4th-straight win streak, after the government jobs report added slightly more positions than expected.
Employers added 114,000 jobs in September, according to the Labor Department, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years. The rate fell because more people found work, a trend that could impact the presidential election.
Economists polled by Reuters forecast non-farm payrolls rose by 113,000 in September, versus 96,000 in August.
“Everyone’s focused on the rate dipping below 8 percent—it’s not a magical number…it doesn’t make people feel better about the economic situation,” said Todd Schoenberger, managing principal at The BlackBay Group. “September is historically a strong month for jobs and the headline number was a complete disappointment.”
Zynga plunged after the social gaming company cut its full-year outlook. Sentiment surrounding Zynga has already been hurt by a number of executive departures, and the company said the current quarter is “challenging” due to poorer-than-expected performance for certain games. Facebook also fell following the news. The social-networking giant received 14 percent of its revenue from Zynga in the first half of the year.
Avon Products rallied after the beauty-product company announced Chairman Andrea Jung will step down at the end of the year and will be succeeded by Fred Hassan.
The risk-on trade helped boost both Asian and European shares on Friday. Shares were higher in Europe in early trade after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday that the central bank was ready to act and that its new bond-buying program had already helped ease market tension.
But worries over Spain continued after the country’s Finance Minister Luis de Guindos said Spain did not need a bail out.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will meet his Italian and French counterparts, Mario Monti and Francois Hollande, on Friday to discuss ways to help Spain combat its debt problem.
In addition to the jobs report, the Federal Reserve will release its consumer credit report for August at 3 p.m. New York time.
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
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