Daniel Gross

Morning Reading: Jobs! (updated)

Contrary Indicator

(UPDATED with U.S. jobs report for December)

What to watch, courtesy of Yahoo! Finance's Elizabeth Trotta:

Good morning, U.S. futures are pointing to a higher open after the jobs report for December, the most anticipated economic data of the month. The U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs, up from 120,000 in November, and the unemployment rate ticked down a tenth of a percentage point to 8.5%. Economists, on average, predicted job growth of 150,000 and were looking for the unemployment rate to tick higher by a 10th of percentage point to 8.7%, reflecting an increase in the pool of available workers. The jobs report follows better than expected data on planned layoffs, private sector employment and weekly jobless claims Thursday. [Read: Hiring Seen Gaining Traction in December]

As the data improve in the U.S., Europe continues to struggle. The euro hit a 16 month low as debt fears (and a series of seemingly endless debt sales -- some with better reception than others) plagued the region. Just after Greece indicated that it will indeed default if the next segment of the bailout falls through, European Central Bank policymaker Athanasios Orphanides called for euro zone leaders to abandon plans to make private sector investors help reduce the struggling nation's debts. Orphanides said it would "help restore trust" in the euro zone and lower the borrowing costs of other euro governments, but the sentiment is expected to face roadblocks from Germany and others committed to the bailout plan.[Read: ECB's Orphanides Wants to Stop Making Banks Pay for Greece]

In other news, Apple's new iPhone 4S consumes on average twice as much data as the previous iPhone model due in part to use of virtual personal assistant Siri, an industry study showed. [Read: New iPhone Doubles Data Consumption]

Jobs Data

Nonfarm Payrolls : 200,000 Prior 120K

Unemployment Rate: 8.5%,  Prior 8.6%

Hourly Earnings: 0.2%, Prior -0.1%

Average Workweek: 34.4,  Prior 34.3

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