Stock futures rise on Merkel talk, jobs data

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NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are set to open higher after a government report showed improvement in the U.S. job market and Germany’s chancellor talked tough about fiscal discipline in the European Union.

Less than an hour before trading starts, Dow Jones industrial futures are up 1 percent to 12,128, and S&P 500 futures up 1.1 percent to 1,257.

The jobs report showed a gain of 120,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent, the lowest in 2½ years.

Economists had forecast a gain of about 125,000 jobs, with the unemployment rate staying at 9 percent.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the 17 nations that use the euro currency must quickly restore market confidence by making financial controls stricter. That encouraged overseas investors.

Most European markets are up about 2 percent.