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Market Hustle: Futures Lose Steam as Job Report Sorely Disappoints

NEW YORK (The Street) -- Stock futures were reversing earlier gains Friday after a much worse than expected December job report left investors uncertain about the course of the Federal Reserve's tapering plans. The market had been expecting incremental Fed tapering of around $10 billion, though with flexibility to maneuver based on data.

The jobs report appeared to put that timetable into question, and with it, the general expectation that the Fed will reduce its tapering over the coming months.

  • S&P 500 futures were up 0.75 points, or 1.72 points above fair value, to 1,833.75. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were adding 3 points, or 17.24 points above fair value, to 16,394, and Nasdaq futures were up 3.7 points, or 5.72 points above fair value, to 3,551.5.

  • The December government jobs report miss expectations by a wide margin with an addition of 74,000 jobs versus expectations of 196,000. This was the worst monthly labor market performance reported by the government in three years. The jobless rate stood at 6.7% versus the prior 7% partly due to a shrinking labor participation rate.

  • Wholesale trade data will be published at 10 a.m.

  • Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker will speak on the economic outlook in Raleigh, N.C., at 8:45 a.m., and St. Louis Fed Bank President James Bullard is set to speak on the economy and monetary policy in Indianapolis at 1:05 p.m.

  • Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) was surging 14.88% to $38 after hiking its full-year forecast on stronger-than-expected sales.

  • Gap (GPS - Get Report) was gaining 1.7% to $40.09 after saying that it expects to deliver at the high end of its reaffirmed fiscal 2013 earnings guidance range of $2.57 to $2.65 thanks to a solid holiday season performance.

  • Target (TGT - Get Report) was slumping 1.48% to $62.40 after lowering its adjusted fourth-quarter U.S. segment earnings outlook to $1.20 to $1.30 a share and revealed that certain guest information -- separate from the payment card data previously disclosed -- was taken during the recent data breach that includes stolen information of names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million individuals.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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