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Updated from 8:13 a.m. EDT

After a brutal session the day before, premarket futures were pointing to more losses for stocks in New York Friday as the government's read on unemployment jumped for August, renewing investor concerns about a U.S. recession.

Futures for the

S&P 500

were down 14 points at 1223 and were 14 points below fair value.


futures were down 23 points at 1753 and were 23 points short of fair value.

On Thursday, the major indices swooned, each losing at least 3% as several data reports indicated the economy remains weak. A decline in commodity prices over the past week wasn't offering much relief from the gloom, and sellers dramatically outnumbered buyers on both the

New York Stock Exchange

and the



Ahead of the new session the Labor Department reported that the August unemployment rate reached 6.1%. Economists had been expecting that the rate would hold at July's level of 5.7%. Nonfarm payrolls were down by 84,000, a bigger loss than 75,000 in July. The average workweek remained unchanged at 33.6 hours, and the average hourly wage rose 0.4% from a month ago to $18.14.

In company news, bond fund manager


, part of



, named Mohamed El-Erian as chief executive. El-Erian replaces Bill Thompson, who retires at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, hedge fund

Atticus Capital

refuted rumors it is closing down. Earlier this week, fellow fund

Ospraie Management

shuttered its business after making bad bets on commodities.

Shares of

Merrill Lynch


appeared to be headed for a rough day after Goldman Sachs slapped a "conviction sell" sticker on the stock, saying it foresees more asset writedowns in Merrill's future.


General Electric

(GE) - Get Free Report

said it would sell its warranty-management business to insurance company


(AIZ) - Get Free Report

for $140 million.

Cigarette maker


(MO) - Get Free Report

is in negotiations to purchase chew-tobacco producer


(UST) - Get Free Report

, according to a report on


Web site.

Potentially pressuring technology shares was a

Wall Street Journal

report that PC maker


(DELL) - Get Free Report

is trying to sell its computer factories in a bid to remain competitive.

As for earnings, video-game maker


(TTWO) - Get Free Report

said Thursday after the close that it swung to a profit from a year ago and raised guidance. And ahead of the opening bell, chipmaker

National Semiconductor


reported a profit that rose year over year.

In commodities, the price of crude oil was falling $1.37 to $106.52. Gold was adding 70 cents to $803.90.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were higher. The 10-year was up 16/32 to yield 3.57%, and the 30-year was up 20/32, yielding 4.22%. The dollar was gaining on the euro, but softening vs. the yen and pound.

Major foreign exchanges, including the FTSE in London, the Dax in Frankfurt, the Nikkei in Japan and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong, were lower.