Stock futures up despite disappointing jobs report

KEN SWEET AP Markets Reporter Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing toward a positive open about 15 minutes before the opening bell after a jobs report showed the economy created only 74,000 jobs in December.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 20 points to 16,411. The Standard & Poor's 500 index futures climbed three points to 1,836 and the Nasdaq futures were up seven points to 3,554.

WHERE ARE THE JOBS?: The Labor Department said Friday that employers added just 74,000 jobs last month, far below the 200,000 jobs that economists were looking for. The unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent from 7 percent. But the drop occurred mostly because more Americans stopped looking for jobs. The government counts people as unemployed only if they are actively searching for work.

WILL THE FED KEEP STIMULATING?: The yield on the benchmark U.S 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.92 percent from 2.97 percent the day before. Bond investors are betting that the Federal Reserve, which started cutting back its massive bond-buying program this month, may put its cutbacks on hold.

ALCOA SINKS: Former Dow member Alcoa dropped 7 percent in pre-market trading to $10.69. The aluminum mining company posted a $2.34 billion fourth-quarter loss late Thursday due to low aluminum prices. Removing one-time charges, the company earned a profit, but that still fell short of Wall Street expectations