Futures Get a Boost From Jobs Report

Futures jumped after a better-than-expected payrolls number Friday, rebounding off of a major selloff in the previous session.

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  • Employers clipped 651,000 jobs from nonfarm payrolls in February, on target with expectations, though the prior two months were revised to show many more jobs were lost than previously thought. The unemployment rate hit a 25-year high of 8.1 percent, much worse than expected.

    Still to come, January’s consumer credit figures will be released at 3 pm.

    In corporate news, the latest government rescue of American International Group was, in part, a bid to protect banks in Europe, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) told reporters. If AIG failed, it “would have precipitated the failure of the European banking system,” Kanjorski said.

    Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch has sued Deutsche Bank for what it calls a hiring “raid.” Merrill, now part of Bank of America, lost its treasurer Eric Heaton and 11 bankers to the German rival.

    Staying in the banking sector, Citigroup is reportedly looking to sell its stake in Japanese online brokerMonex Group in an attempt to raise cash, according to Yomiuri newspaper.

    Citi was a high profile causality of Thursday’s widespread stock-market declines. The once giant Wall Street bank slipped to just above $1 per share, marking an 85 percent fall in this year alone.

    Shares of General Motors continued their decline off a Wall Street Journal report that the company is casting a more open mind toward the notion of a planned bankrutpcy. The stock dropped nearly 6 percent in premarket trading.

    In earnings news, H&R Block posted a higher quarterly profit which it attributed to a hike in fees for tax preparation. The profit of 20 cents per share easily beat analyst estimates of 9 cents.

    Before the bell, Economic Recovery Advisory Board Chairman Paul Volcker will speak on restoring financial stability at 8:45 am in New York.

    Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser will take to the stage at 10 am to talk about the role of government in the financial system. And New York Fed President William Dudley will speak on the Fed's challenges during the market turmoil at 11:15 am.