* US employers expected to have added 150,000 jobs in Dec
* Futures: S&P up 0.9 pt, Dow down 11 pts, Nasdaq up 3 pts
NEW YORK Jan 4 U.S. stock index futures were
little changed on Friday amid caution ahead of a key jobs report
and concern the U.S. Federal Reserve may end its asset-buying
* The employment reading, to be released by the Labor
Department at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT), is likely to point to
modest economic growth despite uncertainty in recent months over
a fiscal crisis that continues to dog the U.S. economy.
* U.S. employers likely stepped up hiring in December for
the holidays, but the gain will probably not be enough to make
inroads in the country's still-high unemployment rate.
* Payrolls outside the farming sector are expected to have
grown by 150,000 last month, a modest increase from November's
146,000 job gain, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.
* S&P 500 futures added 0.9 point and were in line
with fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into
account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 11
points, while Nasdaq 100 futures added 3 points.
* U.S. stocks dipped on Thursday as investors pulled back
after a two-day rally on signs the Federal Reserve was concerned
about its highly stimulative monetary policy.
* The Fed said last month it would keep interest rates near
zero until unemployment fell to at least 6.5 percent, and as
long as inflation does not rise above 2.5 percent.
* Walgreen is set to report December same-store
sales, a day after several major U.S. retailers beat
expectations of modest sales increases in December as shoppers
wrapped up holiday buying.
* Mosaic Co reported that its quarterly operating
profit fell 30 percent as international distributors delayed
buying potash and phosphate to avert the price risk associated
with the fertilizer producer's negotiations with China and
* Japan's Nikkei share average climbed nearly 3 percent to a
22-month high on its first trading day of 2013 on Friday, as a
deal in Washington to avert fiscal disaster buoyed investor risk
appetite and the weaker yen lifted exporters such as Toyota
Motor Corp. Japan's markets were closed Thursday for a