US Futures Slip Ahead of Jobs Report

U.S. stock futures were lower Friday as oil prices and weakness in Europe weighed on sentiment and ahead of the December payrolls report that could further support the argument for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

At 8:30 a.m. E.T., data are expected to show that the U.S. economy added 245,000 non-farm jobs in December compared to a 321,000 gain in November. The consensus range for December is between 202,000 and 305,000, according to data compiled by Econoday. The unemployment rate is expected to have edged lower to 5.7% from 5.8% in November. The consensus range is between 5.6% and 5.8%.

At 10:00 a.m., wholesale inventory data are expected to show a 0.3% increase in November from October. The consensus ranges from a 0.3% drop to a 0.7% increase.

In equities, Agenus ( AGEN ) jumped 37% before the market opened after announcing a license, development and commercialization agreement focusing on immune-therapeutics with pharmaceutical company Incyte ( INCY ). INCY was unchanged in recent pre-market trade.

Meanwhile, insurance and reinsurance company XL Group ( XL ) fell over 3% after announcing a deal to buy the property and casualty insurer and reinsurer Catlin Group for $ 4.1 billion. Catlin shares was higher nearly 5% in London.

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