US STOCKS-Wall St to open higher after strong payrolls data
* Payrolls much higher than forecast, unemployment rate matches lowest since Sept 2008
* Futures up: Dow 33 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 13 pts (Updates prices, adds data, comment)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, July 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to rise at the open on Thursday after the unemployment rate fell to its lowest in almost six years and the American economy created many more jobs than forecast.
The U.S. economy created 288,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate declined to 6.1 percent, the lowest since September 2008.
The data confirmed expectations that the economy bounced back in the second quarter after a dismal start to the year, and will likely spark talk about the need for the Federal Reserve to normalize monetary policy sooner rather than later.
Futures added to small gains when the payrolls data was published, but quickly pared those advances and were briefly negative. The Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs Wednesday and face psychological round-number barriers.
The payrolls data "is obviously very strong across the board," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.
"We're at record highs and it is telling that equities are having a little trouble with this number. That could indicate worries that the Fed is behind the curve, and that it shouldn't be on autopilot with respect to tapering. Maybe they should be doing it faster." Continuación...