--Stock futures hold steady near unchanged levels ahead of jobs data
--Europe nudges higher to head toward ninth-straight gain
--Nonfarm payrolls seen rising 180,000, unemployment expected to remain at 7.3%
--Netflix soars after reporting results; United Technologies, Travelers, DuPont also gain
By Tomi Kilgore and Michele Maatouk
NEW YORK--U.S. stock futures steadied near unchanged levels as investors held their ground ahead of the much-
anticipated release of the September jobs report.
About 90 minutes ahead of the open, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures edged up 12 points, or 0.1%, to 15334.
S&P 500 index futures eased one point, or 0.1%, to 1737 and Nasdaq 100 futures ticked up three points, or 0.1%, to
3357. Changes in stock futures don't always accurately predict stock moves after the opening bell.
On Monday, the Dow lost seven points, or 0.1%, but the S&P 500 inched up fractionally to post fourth-straight gain and
to close at a fresh record high.
At 8:30 a.m. EDT, the government's September employment report will be released after a more than two-week delay due
to the government shutdown. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to rise to 180,000 from 169,000 in August, while the
unemployment rate is seen remaining at 7.3%. Average hourly wages are forecast to increase 0.2% on the month.
Although investors are keenly focused on the jobs data, the Federal Reserve isn't expected to be swayed to consider
paring back on stimulus measures, until they can suss out the impact of the 16-day government shutdown that ended last
"I'd be surprised if the data had a real impact, because people believe the Fed's on hold, maybe till March," said
Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at investment manager Banyan Partners, which advises on $4 billion in assets.
"I'm seeing a market that's a little suspect at these levels, but every time the market gets to a new all-time high,
it looks suspect," Mr. Pavlik said. He feels the market could give back a little from current levels, but believes it
will end the year higher than it is now.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note inched down to 2.601% from 2.609% late Monday.
After the open, data on August construction spending, which was also delayed because of the government shutdown, is
expected to rise 0.5% on the month.
Investors were also keeping a trained eye on earnings. Netflix soared 9.3% in premarket trading after the movie-
subscription company reported late Monday third-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded analyst estimates, boosted by
healthy subscriber growth, and provided a fourth-quarter earnings outlook that was above current forecasts.
Prior to the pre-open surge, the stock had nearly quadrupled since the start of the year.
Dow component United Technologies added 1.3% as the company's better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and raised
full-year outlook offset revenue that missed expectations.
Also in the Dow, Travelers tacked on 2.4% on better-than-forecast earnings and an increased stock buyback program, and
DuPont gained 0.5% after reporting earnings that increased more than anticipated.
"You've had some pretty decent earnings," Mr. Pavlik said. "You'd like to see revenue numbers pick up. But to the
degree that earnings can support the market's gains, it has."
European markets nudged slightly higher as investors awaited U.S. jobs data. The Stoxx Europe 600 ticked up 0.2%, and
was on an early track for a ninth-straight gain to the highest level seen since June 2008. The U.K.'sFTSE 100 index
tacked on 0.3%, Germany's DAX 30 index added 0.2% and France's CAC 40 index edged up 0.3%.
"Today's data is quite significant because it gives a sense of how the U.S. economy was before the shutdown," said
Keith Wade, chief economist at Schroders, which has $388 billion in assets under management. "We'd have to see quite a
strong number for it to have much impact on monetary policy going forward."
In corporate news, U.K. consumer-goods company Reckitt Benckiser Group, Dutch telecom company Royal KPN and Swiss
pharmaceutical giant Novartis all gained ground in European trading after reporting results, while British microchip
designer ARM Holdings and German airliner Deutsche Lufthansa declined.
Front month November crude oil futures eased 0.2% to $99.02 a barrel, while October gold futures gave up 0.1% to $
1,313.90 an ounce. The dollar traded mixed, losing some ground against the euro but edging higher against the yen.
Asian markets were mixed. China's Shanghai Composite lost 0.8%, pulling back from the previous session's sharp rally,
as data showing that average home prices rose to another fresh high sparked some fear that the government would step in
to cool the property market. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average gained 0.1%.
In other corporate news, Whirlpool advanced 4.6% after the home appliance maker beat earnings estimates and lifted its
full-year view, overshadowing a slight miss on revenue.
Transocean rallied 4.9% after S&P Dow Jones Indices said it was adding the offshore driller's stock to the S&P 500 to
replace Dell, which is being taken private.
Write to Tomi Kilgore at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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