By DONNA KARDOS YESALAVICH at WSJ
NEW YORK—U.S. stocks futures rose despite a smaller-than-expected increase in January nonfarm payrolls, as the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since April 2009 while the market got a strong round of earnings.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 22 points to 12032 recently, while Standard & Poor's 500 futures were up 3 at 1307 and Nasdaq Composite futures were up 7 points at 2328. Prior to the data, Dow futures had been up 25 points, S&P 500 futures rose 2 points and Nasdaq futures advanced 7 points. Changes in stock futures do not necessarily accurately predict early stock moves after the open.
Nonfarm payrolls rose by 36,000 last month as private-sector employers added 50,000 jobs, the Labor Department said Friday in its establishment survey. The December number was revised to show an increase of 121,000 jobs, from a previous estimate of 103,000.
The unemployment rate, which is obtained from a separate household survey, fell to 9.0% last month. About 13.86 million people who would like to work can't get a job.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast payrolls would rise by 136,000 and that the jobless rate would rise to 9.5% from the previous month's 9.4%.
The two surveys can give conflicting views of the jobs market, but tend to converge over the long term. The payroll number was likely hit by bad weather in January, when storms forced people to stay home.