Futures Rebound After Job Growth Shortfall

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures pointed to a weaker open Friday as December job growth missed expectations, although a much better-than-expected unemployment rate of 9.4% kept disappointment in check.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down by 9 points, or 5 points below fair value, at 11,637. Futures for the S&P 500 were lower by 2 points, or nearly 2 points below fair value, at 1,268, and Nasdaq futures were down by 2 points, or 1 point below fair value.

The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 103,000 jobs in December, falling short of the 150,000 additions that economists had been expecting, according to Briefing.com. The unemployment rate, however, fell to a better-than-expected rate of 9.4%, from 9.8%, previously, outpacing estimates for a December rate of 9.7%. Private payrolls rose by 113,000, well under Wall Street's projections for growth of 162,000. In November, private payrolls increased by 79,000.

December hourly earnings inched up by 0.1%, as expected, after remaining flat in November, and the average workweek held steady at 34.3 hours, meeting expectations.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.4% and Japan's Nikkei added 0.1%. London's FTSE was losing 0.3% while the DAX in Frankfurt was ahead by 0.3%.

Stocks saw a mixed close Thursday as strength across the technology sector lifted the Nasdaq while the other major U.S. indices slumped on weak December retail sales and an uptick in initial jobless claims.

At 3 p.m., the Federal Reserve will release its consumer credit report for November. Economists expect consumer credit to contract by $2.5 billion after expanding by $3.4 billion in October.

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