Futures Head Higher After Jobs Data

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks were headed for a strong open Friday after the September unemployment report showed more jobs were added than expected.

Half an hour before the opening bell, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 102 points, or 89 points above fair value, at 11,148. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 11 points, or 8 points above fair value, at 1160 and Nasdaq futures were up 14 points, or 5 points above fair value, at 2219.

The Labor Department reported that the economy added 103,000 jobs in total with the private sector adding 137,000 jobs. The consensus estimate called for 60,000 additional jobs, according to Thomson One Analytics. After the previous unemployment report showed no jobs created in August, investors welcomed an upward revision to August payrolls.

While the headline number was stronger than expected, economists noted however that the return of 45,000 Verizon workers previously on strike boosted payrolls significantly, and that the unemployment rate remains uncomfortably high at 9.1%.

Nevertheless, stocks looked to extend three straight days of gains. Ian Shepherdson, economist with High Frequency Economics, wrote in a research note that the report was a relief although "risks remain."

"The U.S. economy is just about hanging in there, but growth is very weak and susceptible to any adverse shock coming from the euro-zone," according to Capital Economics.

On Thursday, sentiment got a lift from a better-than-expected reading on U.S. weekly unemployment benefit claims, speculation that the eurozone has a bank recapitalization idea in the works, and the promise of further liquidity help from the European Central Bank. The future of Belgian's largest bank, Dexia, and how it will address its "bad" sovereign debt has grown more certain, easing investors' fears of a spreading debt contagion. The Dow broke solidly above 11,000 and enjoyed its biggest three-day gain since late August.

Dan Greenhaus, global strategist with BTIG, wrote in a research note that if the S&P 500 doesn't seeing a significant decline Friday it may form a "technically bullish pattern," meaning the index could push higher in the near-term. "Those suggesting the market is indeed at a 'bottom' may be feeling a sense of relief," he added.

European stocks turned positive after the release of the jobs report. The London's FTSE was rising 0.79% while Germany's DAX was up 1.27%. Asian markets followed Thursday's U.S. market higher with Japan's Nikkei index up 0.98% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbing 3.11%.

Other reports on the U.S. economic docket Friday are wholesale sales data for August -- economists are expecting an increase of 0.5% in inventories after ticking up 0.8% in July.

At 3 p.m., a report on consumer credit in August is expected to see an increase of $7.75 billion after a $12 billion boost in July.

In corporate news, San Diego life science technology developer Illumina ( ILMN) said its third-quarter revenue would come in well below Wall Street expectations and it suspended its outlook for the rest of the year. Shares were plunging 28.9% to $28.38 in premarket trading Friday.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was losing 1/32, pushing the yield to 1.99%. The dollar was about flat against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index off 0.04%.

Gold for December delivery was gaining by $2.20 to trade at $1655.80 an ounce. In other commodities, the November crude oil contract was edging down 42 cents to trade at $82.17 a barrel.

-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.

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