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The Journal Gazette

  • In this Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2012, photo, Norma Urbario, left, and America Rodriguez stand in line, holding their resumes, during the job fair that the Miami Marlins hosted at Marlins Park in Miami. The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid jumped last week, though the increase mostly reflected difficulties the government has seasonally adjusting its numbers. Applications are still at levels signaling modest hiring. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Friday, February 01, 2013 9:08 am

Futures moving higher on strong jobs numbers

The Associated Press

Stock futures rose Friday after the latest employment report showed that the country added 157,000 jobs in January, and that hiring for the past two years was better than thought.

Dow Jones industrial futures rose 87 points to 13,884. The broader S&P futures tacked on 8.7 points to 1,502. Nasdaq futures gained 17.75 points to 2,742.75.

But the unemployment rate climbed to 7.9 percent in January from 7.8 percent in December.

The labor force participation rate, which measures the number of working-aged people who have jobs, and those who do not but are looking for work, did not change.

Overall, it is a positive report following government data that caught almost everyone off guard Wednesday, when the Commerce Department said that the economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the final three months of 2012.

Earnings from U.S. corporations presented a mixed picture Friday.

Shares of Exxon Mobil are rising before the opening bell after the energy giant posted a 6 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings. The drugmaker Merck & Co. saw generic competition cut into earnings. Net income fell 7 percent.

Also on Friday, Mattel, like its rival, Hasbro, saw its profits slip in the most recent quarter.

Mattel's net income fell 17 percent and it fell short of Wall Street expectations. Shares fell more than 2 percent in premarket trading.