Updated from 8:49 a.m. EST

Premarket futures were predicting a lower open for U.S. stocks Friday, after the Labor Department announced that the U.S. economy lost more than half a million jobs in November, an even more dire result than had been anticipated.

Futures for the

S&P 500

were down 22 points at 826 and were 19 points below fair value.


futures were down 28 at 1107 and were 20 points short of fair value.

During the previous outing, stocks sold off in the final hour of trading as uncertainty about a Congressional bailout for the automakers and worries about the Department of Labor's upcoming employment number had investors running for the exits.

The announcement of corporate layoffs from such large firms as


(T) - Get Report



(DD) - Get Report



(VIA) - Get Report

further contributed to selling pressure.

Before the new session's trading commenced, the government reported that the

unemployment rate

reached 6.7% in November, up from 6.5% in October. Nonfarm payrolls showed a loss of 533,000 jobs, a much greater decline than the drop of 335,000 forecast by economists.

The average workweek declined slightly to 33.5 hours, and hourly earnings were up 0.4%, compared with a 0.3% increase in October.

"This is almost indescribably terrible," wrote Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, in an email. He said that the total job losses in the past six months has now reached 1.55 million, losses that match the entire recession of 2001. Shepherdson expressed alarm at the acceleration in job losses.

Traders were also training a keen eye on the automakers. CEOs from

General Motors

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(F) - Get Report



are again slated to appear before lawmakers in hopes of striking a bailout deal. Sticking points on the package have included the source of funding, concessions the automakers should make and how much money they should get.

As for company news,

The Wall Street Journal

said airplane manufacturer


(BA) - Get Report

may face additional delays for its 787 jet.

Meanwhile, shareholders of

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report


Merrill Lynch


vote Friday on a merger that will create the nation's largest financial services company.

Shifting to commodities, crude oil was shedding 39 cents to $43.28 a barrel. Gold was gaining 80 cents to $766.30 an ounce.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were rising in price. The 10-year was adding 12/32 to yield 2.51%, and the 30-year was up 22/32, yielding 3.01%.

Overseas, European exchanges such as the FTSE in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were trading lower. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei closed with losses, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended with gains.