U.S. Stock Futures Extend Gains as Payrolls Rose

U.S. stock futures extended gains after a government report showed hiring increased in January after accelerating more than previously estimated at the end 2012.

S&P 500 futures expiring in March gained 0.5 percent to 1,500 at 8:33 a.m. in New York.

Payrolls rose 157,000 following a revised 196,000 advance in the prior month and a 247,000 surge in November, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The revisions added a total of 127,000 jobs to the employment count in November and December. The jobless rate increased to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent.

The S&P 500 has lost 0.3 percent this week, slipping from a five-year high, as a report showed U.S. gross domestic product unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter.

Including dividends, the benchmark index rallied 5.2 percent last month for its best January return since 1997, leading global stocks higher and beating bonds, commodities and currencies. About $2.6 trillion was added to the value of equities worldwide last month as earnings from companies including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. beat estimates and U.S. lawmakers forged a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and tax increases.

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