Dow May Fall on Jobs Report


LONDON -- Stock index futures at 7 a.m. EST suggest that the Dow Jones Industrial Average may open down by 0.11% this morning, while the S&P 500 is expected to fall by 0.14% when trading starts.

Today's economic data includes Novembers' nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate at 8:30 a.m. EST -- two data points that often have the power to move the market. Consensus forecasts suggest that the unemployment rate will remained unchanged at 7.9% in November, while the nonfarm payroll data is expected to show a fall in new job creation to 80,000, down from 171,000 in October, according to a Dow Jones survey of economists. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for December, due at 9:55 a.m. EST, is expected to read 82, down from 82.7 in November. Other data due today includes October's consumer credit figures, which are due at 3 p.m. EST and are expected to have risen by $12 billion, up from $11.4 billion in September.

In company news, Amarin could see active trading after its shares fell by 18% in late trading on Thursday. The maker of cholesterol drug Vascepa has raised $100 million and started hiring a sales force, disappointing investors who hoped the company would have found an established partner to buy or market the drug. Companies due to report quarterly earnings before the markets open today include Bank of Nova Scotia and KMG Chemicals.

European markets
European markets slipped lower this morning as new data showed that even the German economy -- Europe's largest -- is suffering in the eurozone recession. The Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, cut its growth forecasts for the German economy from 1% to 0.7% for 2012 and from 1.6% to 0.4% for 2013, while raising its unemployment forecast from 6.5% to 7.5% for 2013. The Bundesbank now says it anticipates a strong return to growth in 2014, but not before. New data today also revealed that German industrial output fell by 2.6% in October, much worse than the 0.5% fall that had been expected.

Austria also cut its growth forecasts, while new figures showed that the U.K.'s manufacturing output fell much further than expected in October, dropping by 1.3% against a forecast decline of just 0.2%. As of 7:30 a.m. EST, the DAX is down 0.22%, the CAC 40 is down 0.24%, the FTSE MIB is down 1.26%, and the IBEX 35 is down 1%. In London, the FTSE 100 is down 0.12%, with utility firm Centrica topping the leaderboard, up by 2.5%.

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