MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, July 2, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures muted after jobs data

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By Steve Goldstein and Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures were slightly higher Friday after an initial pop in the aftermath of the monthly payrolls report, which offered a mixed message ahead of Wall Street's start.

The government reported June payrolls climbed by 83,000 in the private sector, while the unemployment rate fell to 9.5% from 9.7% in May.

"The mix of data won't give clear direction to the markets, and the bar was set pretty low; but we see the report on the weak side," said analysts at Action Economics.

S&P 500 futures rose 1.3 points to 1,023.10 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 5.5 points to 1,735.5. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 12 points to 9,674.

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U.S. stocks finished weaker Thursday, though off the session's worst levels, following data showing growing jobless claims, slowing manufacturing growth in the U.S. and China as well as a plunge in pending home sales. The S&P 500 finished 0.3% lower to close at its worst level since early September 2009.

After the surprise jobless claims increase as well as the slow private-sector jobs growth reported by ADP, markets were on alert for a weak report on employment.

Yields on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.916%.

The euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.2587, +0.0072, +0.5753%) pulled above $1.26, while oil futures traded below $73 a barrel. Read how BP oil spill could push oil to $90 a barrel in 2011.

Also in the spotlight will be Google /quotes/comstock/15*!goog/quotes/nls/goog (GOOG 440.20, +0.71, +0.16%) after the search giant said late Thursday it's going to buy ITA Software, a flight information software firm, for $700 million, though the deal is likely to attract antitrust scrutiny.

Walt Disney /quotes/comstock/13*!dis/quotes/nls/dis (DIS 31.36, -0.13, -0.41%) late Thursday said it's purchased Tapulous, a maker of games for the iPhone, for an undisclosed price.

Dell /quotes/comstock/15*!dell/quotes/nls/dell (DELL 12.09, +0.06, +0.50%) also announced a deal for a privately held company, saying it will buy a data center infrastructure software firm called Scalent for an undisclosed price.

Most overseas stock markets registered small gains, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index up 0.5% and the Nikkei 225 up 0.1%.

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.


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