MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Friday, November 5, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures gain after jobs report

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By Kate Gibson and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures turned higher Friday after a government report showed that the economy added more jobs in October than Wall Street anticipated, setting up the market to extend its win streak.

Stock-index futures erased mild losses to turn modestly higher after the Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls rose by 151,000 last month, more than twice the number expected by analysts surveyed by MarketWatch. The unemployment rate held at 9.6% for a third consecutive month. Read more about the jobs report.

“It’s safe to say today’s number is the October ‘surprise’ so many on Wall Street were expecting. Now that we have the influential quantitative-easing package in place, the country should expect a continued thaw of the frozen labor iceberg throughout the rest of the year and deep into 2011,” said Todd Schoenberger, managing director at LandColt Trading.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\z10 (DJZ10 11,380, 0.00, 0.00%)  rose 19 points to 11,406, and S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\z10 (SPZ10 1,223, +3.30, +0.27%)  added 1.4 points to 1,220.

Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\z10 (NDZ10 2,184, +0.25, +0.01%)  gained half a point to 2,185.75.

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Data on September pending-home sales will be released after the market opens.

On Thursday, the blue-chip Dow index /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 11,444, +9.24, +0.08%)  surged 2% to end at 11,434.84, finishing higher for the fifth consecutive day. That marked the Dow’s highest close since early September 2008.

Overnight, Asian stocks extended the global market rally, with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rising 2.9%. The Bank of Japan kept interest rates on hold, as expected, and announced details of the assets, including exchange-traded funds, it plans to buy under its latest program. Read more about Japan’s plans.

“Japan’s economy still shows signs of a moderate recovery, but the recovery seems to be pausing,” the bank said in a statement.

In Europe, stock markets were mixed after the previous session’s rally. The Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:STOXX600 271.97, +1.14, +0.42%)  fell 0.1% in intraday trading.

Shares of American International Group Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!aig/quotes/nls/aig (AIG 45.61, +0.87, +1.94%)  slipped in premarket trading. The firm reported a third-quarter net loss of $2.4 billion, or $17.62 a share, compared with net income of $455 million, or 68 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Read about AIG results.

Spiralling Irish yields question austerity targets

Ireland is struggling under the weight of the austerity program and, with yields hitting ever higher levels, the market appears to have lost faith. EU/IMF support looks more likely.

Coventry Health Care Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!cvh/quotes/nls/cvh (CVH 24.87, +1.39, +5.92%)  said its third-quarter net profit more than doubled to $189.9 million, or $1.29 a share. The firm also raised its full-year forecast.

Shares of Starbucks Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!sbux/quotes/nls/sbux (SBUX 30.87, +1.12, +3.76%)  rose in premarket trading. Late Thursday, the coffee-shop chain’s quarterly earnings came in higher than Wall Street expected.

Two big European banks provided trading updates Friday. HSBC Holdings PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!hbc/quotes/nls/hbc (HBC 55.55, -1.37, -2.41%)   /quotes/comstock/23s!a:hsba (UK:HSBA 683.00, -12.10, -1.74%)  said its third-quarter pretax profit was “well ahead” of the year-earlier result. However, the run rate of profits was lower than the bank achieved in the first half of the year.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!rbs/quotes/nls/rbs (RBS 14.69, -0.73, -4.73%)   /quotes/comstock/23s!a:rbs (UK:RBS 45.00, -2.14, -4.54%)  said its third-quarter net loss narrowed.

In the currency markets, the U.S. dollar traded slightly higher against its major rivals. The British pound fell 0.3% to $1.6212.

Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York. Polya Lesova is chief of MarketWatch’s London bureau.

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