Stock futures rise on positive US jobs report

NEW YORK (AP) ? A government report showing a burst of hiring in the U.S. last month is driving stock futures higher.

The Labor Department says employers added a net 200,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest since February 2009. The rate has dropped for four straight months.

Less than an hour before trading opens, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average are up 44 points to 12,375. The broader S&P 500 futures are up 5 to 1,278. Futures for the Nasdaq composite are up 7 to 2,347. All were slightly higher before the jobs report came out.

European markets are higher as investors set aside concerns about the debt crisis. Earlier, Asian markets ended mostly lower as they reacted to the previous day’s European market jitters.