Stock Futures Turn Higher After Jobs Report

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were gaining ground Friday after a weaker-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report provided optimism that the Federal Reserve would be more conservative about the size and scope of the tapering of economic stimulus.

Futures for the S&P 500 were rising 7.25 points, or 6.42 points above fair value, to 1,660.25. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 60 points, or 52.52 points above fair value, to 14,977. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 11.25 points, or 9.71 points above fair value, to 3,139.25.

Timken ( TKR) shares were advancing 6.21% to $64. The company said Thursday evening that its board approved a plan to pursue a separation of the company's steel business from its bearings and power transmission business through a spinoff, creating two publicly traded companies.

E*Trade Financial ( ETFC) was popping more than 3% to $16.10 after analysts at Goldman Sachs lifted their view on the online brokerage stock to "buy" from "neutral" and raised the price target to $19 from $13.50, saying that the company could double its earnings over the next three years.

Yelp ( YELP) was adding 2.85% to $60.59 after Deutsche Bank analysts initiated coverage of the company with a "buy" recommendation and $81 price target. "We see Yelp as a dominant player in local Internet ... Yelp has a large and rapidly growing audience, strong proprietary content across local verticals," the analysts reported.

Nonfarm payrolls added a smaller-than-expected 169,000 jobs in August, up from a downwardly revised 104,000 jobs the prior month. Economists, on average, were expecting an addition of 180,000 jobs, according a survey of economists by Thomson Reuters.

The unemployment rate dipped to 7.3% from 7.4% as the labor participation rate fell to the lowest since August 1978, to 63.2% from 63.4%. Economists expected unemployment to remain at 7.4%.

Also in focus Friday are Fed succession talks. At least three Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee are expected to oppose Larry Summers if he is nominated to become chairman of the Federal Reserve, the Journal reported.

Democrats hold a two-vote majority on the 22-member panel -- a loss of three Democrats would make it impossible for Summers to advance to the full Senate for a confirmation vote without the backing of some of the 10 Republicans.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was surging 30/32, diluting the yield to 2.885% while the dollar was off 0.39% to $82.31 according to the U.S. dollar index.

The FTSE 100 was rising 0.33% while the DAX in Germany was up by 0.42%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan finished behind by 1.45% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng edged up 0.1%.

Gold futures for December delivery were jumping by $11.70 to $1,384.70 an ounce. October light sweet crude oil futures were up by 93 cents to $109.30 a barrel.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.>

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