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Stock Futures Rise After Strong Jobs Report

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures turned positive Friday after a better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report and a dip in the jobless rate.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 57 points, or 51.96 points above fair value, at 13,120. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 4.90 points, or 5.06 points above fair value, at 1417. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 12.75 points, or 12.15 points above fair value, at 2666.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that nonfarm payrolls added 146,000 jobs in November, up from a downwardlyrevised figure of 138,000 in October. Economists had predicted that 93,000 jobs would be added in November.

Nonfarm private payrolls increased by 147,000, down from an upwardly revised 189,000. Expectations were for a rise of 95,000.

The unemployment rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9%; economists forecast the rate to remain at 7.9%.

"The Sandy effect may be more revealing in the December numbers with downward revisions to November payrolls, and a more complete accounting of the weather effects. We argued at length that storm effects always translate unevenly into payrolls, but are a bit surprised there was not a more obvious impact given the timing of the survey period," said Eric Green, global head of research for rates and foreign exchange at TD Securities. "Overall, however, even if December comes in below the print today, we have to view November and December as one, take whatever lumps come our way from Sandy, and know that the effect will be fleeting."

At 9:55 a.m. EST, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is expected to come in at 82.4 in December, down from 82.7 the prior month.

Then at 3 p.m., economists expect data to show that consumer credit increased by $10 billion in October, down from an expansion of $11.4 billion in September.

The major U.S. stock averages rose Thursday as shares of technology behemoth Apple (AAPL) rebounded and investors watched the U.S. "fiscal cliff" debates with a bit more optimism.

" Even with the looming fiscal cliff, U.S. markets are still desirable for investors, given the economic turmoil in overseas markets, the U.S.'s low interest rates, strengthening housing market and significant domestic energy discoveries," said Troy Logan, managing director and senior economist at Warren Financial Service. "Additionally, should the nonfarm payrolls on Friday continue to improve, even though Hurricane Sandy may affect the results, this data will serve as further evidence that the U.S. is moving forward and 'buying U.S.' makes sense."

The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.06% and the DAX in Germany was off 0.1% as the German Bundesbank lowered its 2013 economic growth outlook for the country as the eurozone sovereign debt crisis persists.

Ahead of the nonfarm payrolls release, Japan's Nikkei average closed down 0.19% on Friday and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index finished off by 0.26%.

In Japan, tsunami fears were sparked by a 7.3-magnitude quake that struck off the country's eastern coast.

Gold for February delivery was falling $4.60 at $1,697.20 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while January crude oil contracts were down 20 cents at $86.06 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 4/32, diluting the yield to 1.576%. The dollar was up 0.33%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

In corporate news, Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings and his company received a Wells Notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission for a social network post.

The controversial chief of the DVD-rental and streaming-media company received a Wells Notice for a Facebook (FB) post that claims Hastings violated the Regulation Fair Disclosure, Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rules 13a-11 and 13a-15.

Staff at the SEC are recommending Hastings and Netflix face civil enforcement over the post the executive made in July, which claimed Netflix users "had enjoyed over 1 billion hours" of content in June. The company didn't issue a press release or file an 8-K with the information at the time, which the SEC says Hastings should have done because it was "material" investor information.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) said Thursday it swung to a fiscal first-quarter loss of $3.5 million, or 5 cents a share.

Adjusted profit in the quarter was 4 cents a share, topping analysts' estimates by a penny as revenue jumped 50% to $85.9 million.

Smith & Wesson (SWHC) swung to a profit of $21.1 million, or 31 cents a share, in the fiscal second quarter. The board of the gun maker also approved $20 million in stock buybacks.

Amarin (AMRN) announced Thursday plans to raise $100 million in debt financing and the intention to hire 250 to 300 sales representatives, in a go-it-alone launch strategy for lipid-lowering prescription fish-oil pill Vascepa.

The announcement disappointed investors were were hoping for a marketing partnership. The stock plunged 21% in after-hours trading Thursday.

Research In Motion (RIMM) was a big loser in premarket trading on Friday amid ongoing uncertainty about the handset maker's long-term prospects.

United Technologies (UTX) said that it reached a mutual agreement with TransDigm (TDG) to terminate the previously announced sale of Goodrich's pump and engine control systems business to TransDigm.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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