US futures flat; markets await jobs report Friday

US stock futures essentially flat ahead of Friday's November unemployment report

Associated Press
Asia stocks mixed, benchmarks close to year highs
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FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2012, file photo, traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. World stock markets meandered Tuesday, Dec. 4, as traders weighed a surprise drop in U.S. factory production against hopes that the U.S. will avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Markets are taking a breather between a dismal manufacturing report Monday and the release of crucial job numbers Friday.

In light premarket trading Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial futures are up 13 points to 12,963. The broader S&P futures added 1.5 points to 1,408.60. Nasdaq futures are up 3.75 points to 2,674.

Friday's Labor Department report could have a huge influence on how the government acts in trying to kick-start the economy.

Superstorm Sandy is still skewing economic data, and economists believe more than 100,000 people may have been pushed off employment rolls by the storm.

On Monday, the Institute for Supply Management reported U.S. manufacturing declined in November to its weakest level since July 2009

The trend had been one of steady improvement.

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