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Futures jump after delayed jobs report released

October 22, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures rose Tuesday after the government reported that the unemployment rate dropped close to a five-year low in September as employers added 148,000 jobs.

Dow Jones industrial futures rose 39 points to 15,361. S&P futures gained 5.7 points to 1,743.90. Nasdaq futures rose 13.25 points to 3,367.25.

The monthly earnings figures were delayed by 2 ½ weeks due to the partial government shutdown and some economists believe that because of the disruption, the latest report may the last clean look at the nation’s employment landscape this year.

That’s because the next month’s numbers may be skewed lower from indirect job losses in the private sector tied to the shutdown. The month after that could see a spike in jobs added as those workers come off unemployment rolls.

However, even Tuesday’s figures may have been affected if employers held back on hiring as the government shutdown became inevitable.

Economists had projected 180,000 new jobs, meaning the September job gains were more than 30,000 short.

The weaker job figures make it more likely that the Federal Reserve will maintain its level of bond purchases for the rest of this year. The bond purchases are intended to lower long-term interest rates and boost borrowing and spending.

It appears that most investors were ahead of economists in lowering their own expectations, as futures rose after the report.

U.S. corporations also extended a winning streak Tuesday, bolstering confidence in a U.S. rebound.

Delta topped Wall Street expectations for the third quarter, putting up a $1.37 billion profit.

The chemical maker DuPont also beat expectations and Harley-Davidson reported a 21 percent jump in quarterly profits.

Shares of Netflix appear to be heading for a new all-time high after the company said late Monday that it had added 1.3 million U.S. subscribers during its most recent quarter.

Another delayed economic report from the government, on U.S. construction projects, is due at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

Economists are predicting that construction spending increased 0.4 percent in August compared with July, according to a survey by FactSet.

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