Day Ahead: Payrolls Top Estimates

 | Mar 07, 2014 | 8:55 AM EST  | Comments
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Stock market futures jumped after better-than-expected employment numbers, as investors tried to gauge the impact of buoyant data on the economy and the Federal Reserve's thinking.

Nonfarm payrolls rose 175,000 in February, topping estimates of 150,000. The unemployment rated ticked up to 6.7% as more people entered the workforce.

Elsewhere in economic news, at 3 p.m. ET, look for consumer credit data from the Federal Reserve. Economists predict a $4.8 billion pullback in spending to $14 billion in January.

Big Lots (BIG) jumped in before-hours trading after reporting a profit from continuing operations of $1.39 a share. Foot Locker (FL) was also higher before the bell after topping profit estimates. There are no earnings reports scheduled after the close.

Late Thursday, tax preparer H&R Block (HRB) posted a loss of 78 cents a share, much wider than the forecast of 11 cents a share. Revenue was $199.8 million vs. analyst expectations of $519 million. The company blamed the goverment shutdown for delayed tax filings.

Finally, for Fed watchers, New York Fed chief William Dudley will deliver remarks at 12 p.m. ET in New York.

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