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sexta-feira, março 06, 2009

U.S. Stock-Index Futures Gain as Job Losses Match Forecasts

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures advanced after job losses

matched estimates, quelling concern that the recession is worsening.

Bank of America Corp. and Macy's Inc. rose more than 7 percent. Wells Fargo

& Co. gained 4.4 percent after cutting its dividend to preserve about $5

billion a year. General Motors Corp. decreased 7 percent as the automaker

said it may lose more than $1 billion separating from Saab Automobile.

Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures expiring this month rose 0.4 percent to

688.90 at 8:33 in New York after the measure closed at the lowest level

since September 1996 yesterday. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained

10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,641.

The S&P 500 is headed for its fourth straight weekly decline as the

worsening recession, a third government rescue for Citigroup Inc. and

dividend cuts at companies from General Electric Co. to JPMorgan Chase &

Co. helped drag the measure down 24 percent this year.

Payrolls fell by 651,000, the Labor Department said today in Washington.

Economists estimated 650,000, the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

The jobless rate surged to 8.1 percent, more than forecast and the highest

since December 1983.

More than $1.6 trillion has been erased from U.S. equities since Jan. 20 as

mounting bank losses and rising unemployment convinced investors the

recession is getting worse. The Dow average has fallen 20 percent since

Inauguration Day, the fastest drop under a new president in at least 90

years, as investors speculated Barack Obama's stimulus measures won't

revive the economy anytime soon.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cristina Alesci in New York at

calesci2@bloomberg.net

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