Stock Futures Slip as October Jobs Report Raises Taper Prospects

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were paring gains Friday as an upbeat jobs report increases the possibility that the Federal Reserve will begin to curb its economic stimulus measures sometime in the coming months.

The Labor Department report showed the U.S. workforce adding 204,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists were expecting 125,000 to have been created last month, according to a Reuters survey.

The unemployment rate  rose to 7.3% from 7.2% in the previous month, reflecting a lower workforce participation rate.  The report is being closely watched by the Federal Reserve  to assesses whether to maintain its massive stimulus program.
 
Futures for the S&P 500 were rising 6.35 over fair value to 1,742.15 while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 42.02 over fair value to 15,583.0. Nasdaq futures were rising 14.99 over fair value to 3,316.31.
 
Markets closed lower Thursday as a higher-than-expected GDP result of 2.8% for the third quarter fueled speculation the central bank may cut back stimulus sooner than expected. Adding to uncertainty over the growth outlook, Europe's central bank made a surprise rate cut in a bid to spur demand across the region.
 
Aside from jobs, personal income and outlay data will be watched Friday, with forecasts for a 0.3% rise in personal income during September and a 0.2% lift in consumer spending. The results are due at 8:30 a.m. with consensus figures representing a slight drop on the prior month.
 
Consumer sentiment data at 9:55 a.m. is expected to show a reading of 75 for November up from 73.2 in October. Consumer sentiment is directly related to the strength of consumer spending.
 
Twitter ( TWTR) shares were rising 0.78% to $45.25 in premarket trade. The company's shares opened at $45.10 on Thursday, exceeding the $26 a share IPO price before closing at $44.90. The offering raised more than $2 billion and valued the business at $18.34 billion.
 
Other companies expected to see price action Friday include Walt Disney ( DIS), which posted higher fourth-quarter profit or $1.39 billion, or 77 cents a share, after the market close on Thursday, up from $1.24 billion, or 68 cents a share, a year earlier. Company revenue rose to $11.57 billion from $10.78 billion. Shares of Disney fell over 1% after hours and were off 0.98% to $66.49 in premarket trade Friday.
 
Priceline ( PCLN) announced higher third-quarter profit of $833 million, or $15.72 a share, up from $597 million, or $11.66 a share, a year ago late on Thursday. Company shares were falling 0.38% to $1,019.00 in premarket trade.
 
Groupon ( GRPN) announced revenue of $595.1 million --- below the consensus estimate of $615.7 million, causing its shares to fall more than 5% in after-hours trading on Thursday. Its stock was rebounding 0.53% to $9.55 in premarket trade.
 
Companies reporting today include Lions Gate Entertainment ( LGF), which is expected to post a loss of 3 cents a share for the fiscal second quarter.
 
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will discuss the financial crisis panic at an IMF panel in Washington at 3:30 p.m.
 
Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart will speak on the economic outlook in Mississippi at 12 p.m., with San Francisco Fed President John Williams to speak on the economy and monetary policy in Los Angeles at 4 p.m.
 
Gold futures for December were rising 0.4 to $1,308.9 while oil was off 0.05% to $94.15. Ten-year U.S. Treasuries were up 2.61% to 2.50 while the dollar was rising 0.03% to $80.86 according the U.S. dollar index.
 
Global markets were in the red. London's FTSE was falling 0.48% to 6,664.82 while Germany's DAX was off 0.63% to 9,024.09. The Hang Seng closed 0.60% lower at 22,744.39 while the Nikkei shed 1.00% to settle at 14,086.80. Standard & Poor's has downgraded France's credit rating for the second time in under two years, to AA from AA+, pointing to risks for its economy and government finances.
 
 

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