US futures turn higher on jobs report

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Associated Press

Posted on January 4, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:36 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures turned higher Friday after the most recent monthly jobs report showed that hiring continues unabated in the face of budget brawls in Washington and uncertainty over the global economy.

Dow Jones industrial futures rose 17 points to 13,336. The broader S&P futures added 3.5 points to 1,457.10. Nasdaq futures gained 8.75 points to 2,734.25.

U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, according to the Labor Department, with hiring in manufacturing and construction leading the way.

Homebuilders have been recovering rapidly since the real estate bust, with recent economic data showing rising sales and prices of both new and older homes.

Auto sales are booming, with the industry in 2012 posting its best numbers in five years.

And the Commerce Department is expected to report later Friday that orders placed with U.S. factories rose in November for the second time in as many months.

The unemployment rate, however, remains at 7.8 percent last month. November's rate was revised higher from an initially reported 7.7 percent.

Futures had been weighed down earlier Friday, a day after minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting in December showed a split among members over the wisdom of continuing economic stimulus programs.

The government is spending billions each month on bonds in an effort to push long-term interest rates down, and encourage more economic activity.

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