Stocks set for a higher start after better-than-expected employment report

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U.S. stocks were poised for a somewhat lower start Friday morning as investors braced themselves for a sobering July employment report from the U.S. Labor Department due out 8:30 a.m., an hour before the open. Meanwhile, investors also reacted to the expansion of the cash-for-clunkers program and to AIG's (AIG) first quarterly profit since 2007.

More here: Before the bell: Stock futures lower ahead of employment report

[Update: Stock futures did a 180 and are now trading higher after July's non-farm payroll report showed the pace of U.S. job losses slowed more than expected -- falling by 247,000 -- and the unemployment rate actually dropped for the first time since April 2008, registering a 9.4% unemployment rate, in the clearest sign yet that the worst recession since the Great Depression is easing.]
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Markets

S&P 500 2,259.53 13.34 0.59%
DJIA 19,756.85 142.04 0.72%
NASDAQ 5,444.50 27.14 0.50%
DAX 11,203.63 24.21 0.22%
HANG SENG 22,760.98 -100.86 -0.44%
NIKKEI 225 18,996.37 230.90 1.23%
USD (per EUR) 1.06 0.00 0.05%
USD (per CHF) 1.02 0.00 0.02%
JPY (per USD) 115.39 0.02 0.01%
GBP (per USD) 1.26 0.00 -0.01%

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