Stocks: Jobs report disappoints

January 10, 2014: 10:03 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

U.S. stock futures bounced around the breakeven line Friday following a government jobs report that fell way short of what economists were predicting.

The economy added only 74,000 jobs in December, far below the 193,000 that economists surveyed by CNNMoney had forecast. Futures pulled back immediately after the report, before returning to modest gains.

The unemployment rate last month fell to 6.7% from 7%, the Labor Department said.

The jobs report tends to be a big market mover, significantly influencing investment decisions of traders and investors.

Related: 'I just want a job'

The report -- the final jobs reading of 2013 -- will provide an important gauge of the economy's recent momentum, and could influence the Federal Reserve's plans for its monetary stimulus program.

The Federal Reserve last month began scaling back that program amid economic data showed evidence of an improving economy.

Related: Fear & Greed Index, still greedy

U.S. stocks finished flat Thursday. European markets were rising in morning trading. Asian markets closed with mixed results.

What's moving: Target (TGT) shares were under pressure after the retailer said 70 million individuals had information stolen in the recent data breach of credit and debit cards.

Alcoa (AA) shares sank in premarket trading, one day after the aluminum producer reported quarterly earnings that missed estimates.

Sears (SHLD) shares plunged after the retailer reported a sharp drop in same-store sales during the holiday season and issued a weaker-than-expected forecast.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) shares surged after the clothing retailer raised its earnings guidance for the year.

--CNNMoney's Annalyn Kurtz contributed

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