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Stock Market Today: Bulls Eye Strong Jobs Growth as Stock Futures Dive


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were gaining some strength Friday after a jobs number that was not too cold and not too hot. It was the "Goldilocks" number that market strategists such as Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Asset Management Group was looking for.

"In the intermediate-term, a stronger economy and more jobs is certainly better for stocks," said Stone. "As long as geopolitical concerns don't intrude, yields should move higher on a better payrolls number."

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Nonfarm payroll rose by 209,000 in July, which was slightly lower than the average 233,000 estimate expected by economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters. However, it still marks the sixth consecutive month of growth exceeding 200,000. It was solid number that was not strong enough to trigger short-term concerns of expedited Federal Reserve rate hiking, and certainly not weak enough to signal economic vulnerabilities. The June number was upwardly revised to 298,000 from 288,000.

S&P 500 futures were off just 3.5 points, or 3.72 points below fair value, to 1,921.25. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 28 points, or 30.30 points below fair value, to 16,466. Nasdaq futures were down only 3 points, or 3.3 points below fair value, to 3,881.8.

All the indices finished negative for the month on Thursday, with the Dow in the red for the year and the VIX "fear gauge" spiking more than 27% to 16.98 as mixed earnings reports, concerns about the health of the European economy and financial sector, and the wait for Friday's nonfarm payrolls report rocked the global markets.

On Argentina, strategists say many had already seen the second default in 13 years coming, and the event was largely already baked in before Thursday's plunge.

Futures were also being buoyed by upbeat results from Tesla , Procter & Gamble and LinkedIn . Before the bell, Procter & Gamble was popping 2.12% to $78.96 after beating quarterly earnings estimates by 4 cents at 95 cents a share. LinkedIn was surging 7.29% to $193.51 after exceeding second-quarter earnings estimates by 12 cents at 51 cents a share. Tesla was advancing 1.59% to $226.99 after booking earnings that surpassed expectations by 7 cents at 11 cents a share.

The July University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index will be released at 9:55 a.m., followed by the final read for the July ISM Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m. and June construction spending at 10 a.m.

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Individual companies making the headlines Friday also include Iliad , T-Mobile , GoPro and Chrysler . Iliad, the French budget mobile-phone company, made a $15 billion bid to buy a 56.6% stake in T-Mobile. After a bonanza IPO on June 27, wearable camera-maker GoPro reported earnings that beat analyst revenue targets, but showed a loss of $19.8 million, or 24 cents per share, compared to last year's loss of $5.1 million, or 6 cents per share. But if one-time charges are excluded, the company showed a profit of $11.8 million. Shares were diving 10.15% to $43.10 in premarket trading.