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U.S. Stock Futures Fluctuate as Payrolls Rise More Than Forecast

July 3 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures fluctuated, after benchmark equity gauges extended records yesterday, as data showed employers added more workers than projected in June and the unemployment rate fell to an almost six-year low.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in September rose 0.1 percent to 1,969 at 8:32 a.m. in New York. Equities markets close at 1 p.m. today before the Independence Day holiday.

“The labor-market report could surprise to the upside as the ADP was much stronger than anticipated,” Alessandro Fezzi, senior market analyst at LGT Bank Schweiz AG in Zurich, said in an interview. “However, expectations are already high and leave some room for disappointment. Investors might sell the fact, even if it is good news, before tomorrow’s U.S. holiday.”

The addition of 288,000 jobs followed a 224,000 gain the prior month that was bigger than previously estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 215,000 advance. The jobless rate is the lowest since September 2008. The number of long-term unemployed fell to 3.1 million, showing they’re having greater success finding work.

Data from the ADP Research Institute yesterday showed employment rose in June by the most since 2012, with more workers hired than economists projected.

Benchmark indexes reached records this week, with the 30- member Dow rising within two points of 17,000, as stocks extended a rebound from a selloff earlier this year that started with biotechnology and small-cap stocks. The S&P 500 has rallied 8.8 percent since reaching a two-month low in April as central bank stimulus spread from Europe to Japan and the U.S.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last month that accommodative monetary policy, rising property and equity prices and the improving global economy should lead to above-trend growth.

The European Central Bank kept interest rates at record lows, shifting the focus onto whether Mario Draghi will reveal more details on last month’s historic stimulus package in his comments to the press today. While the ECB unveiled a range of measures on June 5 to fight the threat of deflation in the euro area, it has yet to release the finer details.

“Markets will carefully listen to Mr. Draghi,” Fezzi said. “He will make sure to keep the option for further easing open.”

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