February 2, 2018 / 1:57 PM / in a year

US STOCKS-Futures drop further after strong jobs data

* U.S. economy adds 200,000 jobs in Jan. vs est. 180,000

* Avg hourly earnings up 0.3 pct; Unemployment rate unchanged

* Bond yields rise further after jobs data

* Record profit boosts Amazon; Alphabet drops on profit miss

* Futures lower: Dow 237 pts, S&P 19.75 pts, Nasdaq 33 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

Feb 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures added to their losses on Friday after data showed job growth surged in January and wages increased further, bolstering expectations that inflation will push higher, and bond yields rose further.

A Labor Department report showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 200,000 jobs in January, above the 180,000 rise expected by economists surveyed by Reuters. The unemployment rate stayed unchanged at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent, building on December’s solid 0.4 percent gain. That boosted the year-on-year increase in average hourly earnings to 2.9 percent, the largest rise since June 2009.

The strong payrolls data feeds into the U.S. Federal Reserve’s narrative of a firming economy. The Fed left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, but flagged “further gradual” rate hikes. The market has currently priced in three hikes for 2018.

“Traders are going to be talking about rate hikes more than the Superbowl today,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director at institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird.

“The market had coalesced around expectations for three rate hikes this year. Slightly hawkish comments and wage hikes will make it four. What is good for the average American worker ends up being negative for stocks because it increases the odds of further rate hikes.”

At 8:40 a.m. ET (1340 GMT), Dow e-minis were down 237 points, or 0.91 percent, with 76,885 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 19.75 points, or 0.7 percent, with 319,946 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 33 points, or 0.48 percent, on volume of 96,655 contracts.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed gauge for investors’ fear of stock market volatility, rose to 14.55, after having fallen in the previous two sessions.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields extended their rise after the payrolls data and jumped to more than 2.818 percent, its highest level since early 2014. A rise in yields raises borrowing costs for companies and give traders an alternative investment option.

Some investors have also grown wary of the pace of the global equity bull run, and have begun reducing their exposure to equities. Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a weekly note on global asset flows that its bull and bear indicator hit 8.6, triggering a sell signal for risk assets.

The U.S. stock market roared out of the blocks in 2018, before pulling back this week due to rising yields. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are on track to post their biggest weekly losses since the end of 2016.

Even reports from major companies have failed to enthuse.

Shares of Google-parent Alphabet fell 3.8 percent in premarket trading after the company’s quarterly profit missed analysts’ estimates.

Apple was struggling for direction and was last down 0.6 percent as investors weighed up strong iPhone prices and cash plans with the company’s muted forecast.

Amazon.com rose 5.3 percent after reporting a record profit of near $2 billion, helped by a rise in online sales and tax law changes.

So far, though, S&P 500 companies have posted strong results, with about 80 percent of the 227 that have reported beating Wall Street’s profit estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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