U.S. stock index futures declined Friday following a weaker-than-expected government employment report, adding to signs of economic sluggishness.
Non-farm payrolls rose much less than expected , with employers adding just 115,000 jobs in April. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected employers to increase hiring by 170,000 workers. Still, the unemployment rate slipped to 8.1 percent, the lowest since January 2009.
“It’s crystal clear that the economic recovery is in doubt—you have an economy that is in need of organic growth and you’re not getting it from these reports,” said Todd Schoenberger, managing principal at The BlackBay Group. “Participation rate dropped and average working hours are down—if you’re lucky enough to have a job, your spending power is still down.”
European shares were lower , ahead of a potentially tumultuous weekend for European politics during which France and Greece hold elections. In the UK, the opposition Labor party made significant gains in local elections over the ruling Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition, in what will likely come to be seen as a protest vote against the government’s austerity measures.
Among earnings, LinkedIn reported better-than-expected revenue and profit, racking up strong growth from services that help companies find and hire employees.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page