A surprising jobs report pared earlier gains in U.S. stock futures Friday morning as fewer jobs were created last month, even as the overall unemployment rate fell.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added 74,000 nonfarm payrolls in December, far below forecasts for a 196,000 increase. November's figure was revised upward to 241,000 from 203,000. The unemployment rate fell by 3 basis points to 6.7%, below estimates for 7%, as more than 300,000 people left the labor force altogether.
Wholesale trade from the Census Bureau comes out at 10 a.m. ET. Economists anticipate a gain 0.5% in November vs. 1.4% increase in October.
European stocks have been rallying, helped by positive news from German air carrier Lufthansa and Swiss watchmaker Swatch. Asian markets were mixed overnight, weighed down by a dip in China exports in December.
Just one earnings report on the calendar today: Outsourcing company Infosys (INFY) is expected to report earnings of $0.75 per share on $2.1 billion in revenue before the bell.
Late Thursday, Alcoa (AA) kicked off earnings season with mixed quarterly results. Jim Cramer says the downtick in China is the crucial takeaway not just for the company, but for the market as a whole. Separately, the tin producer and a business partner have agreed to pay $384 million to settle bribery charges in violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Shares were lower in premarket trading.
In company news, Chevron (CVX) updated its fourth-quarter earnings below Wall Street estimates and predicted a dip in production compared with the same period a year ago. The second-largest U.S. oil company reports fourth-quarter results on Jan. 14. Shares fell slightly in extended trading.
Standouts from Thursday's same-store sales include shares of teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), which were soaring in early trading on a raised outlook, despite declining sales. Sears Holdings (SHLD), on the other hand, saw sales fall and forecast a wider quarterly loss, sending its shares lower.
On the Fed Sked: Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker talks about the economy in North Carolina at 8:45 a.m. ET, and St. Louis Fed chief James Bullard discusses monetary policy in Indianapolis at 1:05 p.m. ET.