MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, June 4, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures fall sharply after payrolls

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By William L. Watts & Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock index futures fell sharply Friday after the government reported fewer-than-expected were added to U.S. payrolls in May, with the disappointing count weighing further on a market already hit by the euro's latest fall.

Off 60-odd points ahead of the May nonfarm payrolls report, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 200 points in its wake, and were more recently down 178 points at 10,080.00.

S&P 500 futures tumbled 21.20 points to 1,081.40, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 38.75 points to 1,859.00.

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The Labor Department said 431,000 people were added to payrolls last month, less than the more than 500,000 expected by analysts. The jobless rate declined to 9.7%.

"Bottom line, private-sector hiring remains punk," said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co.

Treasury prices rose after the report.

The euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.1996, -0.0165, -1.3568%) hit a new four-year low against the dollar, lately at $1.2043. The dollar /quotes/comstock/21o!x:susdjpy (CUR_USDYEN 91.8200, -0.7600, -0.8209%) fell against the Japanese currency at 92.12 yen.

Concerns about sovereign debt were on the rise after a spokesman for the Hungarian prime minister was quoted as saying that the nation's economy was in a "grave" situation and that the budget was in worse condition than had been described by the previous government.

European stocks turned lower, in line with the jitters over Hungary.

Hurricanes May Lift Oil Prices Further

An increasingly bullish picture is emerging for crude oil prices ahead of the U.S. hurricane season, which a top weather agency warns could be the most intense since 2005 and may hamper BP's efforts to contain the Macondo spill.

Oil giant BP /quotes/comstock/23s!a:bp. (UK:BP. 433.35, +1.10, +0.25%) /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 37.84, -1.43, -3.64%) fell nearly 2% as investors waited to see if the company's latest effort to stem the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico worked. Read about efforts to plug the leak. Read London Markets.

"Certainly the news of progress in stemming the flow can only be seen as positive, not least against the backdrop of news that the White House has sent its first invoice to the company to cover cleanup costs," Potter said.

McDonald's Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!mcd/quotes/nls/mcd (MCD 67.00, -0.85, -1.25%) on Friday said it would recall 12 million U.S.-made collectible drinking glasses themed on the movie character Shrek because the painted design on the glasses contains cadmium, news reports said.

U.S. stocks posted a small rise Thursday, with gains led by the energy and technology sectors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,033, -222.41, -2.17%) ended 5.74 points higher at 10,255.28. The S&P 500 index /quotes/comstock/21z!i1:in\x (SPX 1,080, -23.15, -2.10%) rose 4.45 points to end at 1,102.83, while the Nasdaq Composite Index /quotes/comstock/10y!i:comp (COMP 2,260, -42.66, -1.85%) outpaced the other benchmarks, finishing up 21.96 points at 2,303.03.

William L. Watts is a reporter for MarketWatch in London. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.


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