Stock market futures drop as housing starts fall, but jobs numbers stay above trend

Real estate stocks tumbled Thursday, while a jobless rate ticked up.

The unemployment rate rose to 6.9% in December from 6.8% in November.

A similar rise in the U.S. rate would mean the country had more people working than it did in December, and the jobless rates would have been higher than the 6.7% they reached in September.

Real estate also saw a slight drop in the number of homes sold in December compared to December 2015, the Commerce Department said.

A report from the National Association of Realtors found December sales in the city of Dallas were down 5.6% from a year earlier.

The number of home sales in March was up 4.2%.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a gain of 2.9%, or 1.9 million homes, in the fourth quarter.