Economy

Futures dip as US economy shows strength

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures slumped over apprehension that the U.S. would begin winding down its economic stimulus program after a surprisingly strong jobs report Friday.

The Labor Department reading on U.S. employment follows the latest report on the nation's economic growth during the most recent quarter, which was also much better than most analysts had projected. Dow Jones industrial futures fell 36 points to 15,531. S&P futures slid 2.9 points to 1,742.30. Nasdaq futures fell 1 point to 3,320.50.

The U.S. added 204,000 jobs in October, a period of political upheaval when the government shut down partially for half of the month. If anything, most economists were expecting that the jobs number would be exceptionally weak, and bounce back strongly in the next month.

That can affect the behavior of investors, who have seen markets flooded with cash thanks to the government's monthly $85 billion bond-buying program. The program has helped push interest rates lower and made cash more easily accessible.

There were continued signs of skittishness among consumers, however. The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending slowed in September to 0.2 percent, down from the 0.3 percent gain in the previous month.

A measure of inflation closely followed by the Federal Reserve rose by just 0.9 percent over the past year, far below the Fed's 2 percent inflation target.

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