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Futures extend gains in choppy trading after Oct jobs data

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U.S. stock index futures rose in choppy trading on Friday after an increase in the October unemployment rate supported expectations that the Federal Reserve could deliver smaller rate hikes starting in December.

The Labor Department’s closely watched report showed unemployment rate ticked up 3.7% compared with expectations of 3.6%, while average hourly earnings rose 0.4% against a forecast of 0.3%.

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Meanwhile, nonfarm payrolls increased by 261,000 jobs last month against expectations of 200,000 after rising 263,000 in September.

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At 8:36 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 186 points, or 0.58%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 28.25 points, or 0.76%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 78.5 points, or 0.73%.

Before the data, Dow e-minis were up 139 points, or 0.43%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 22.75 points, or 0.61%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 66 points, or 0.62%.

The U.S. central bank on Wednesday hiked its benchmark rate by 75 basis points as expected while hinting at smaller increases ahead. However, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the “ultimate level” of policy rate would likely be higher than previously estimated. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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