* Futures: Dow down 14 pts, S&P down 1.25 pts, Nasdaq up
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Jan 6 U.S. stock index futures were little
changed on Friday as investors remained cautious ahead of a
crucial monthly jobs report that would provide clues on the pace
of interest rate hikes this year.
* Hiring in the U.S. public and private sector is expected
to have remained flat at 178,000 in December, a report from the
Labor Department at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT) is likely to show.
* Federal Reserve policymakers had agreed that
President-elect Donald Trump's fiscal stimulus measures could
prompt a faster rate of interest rate hikes than previously
anticipated, according to the minutes of its December meeting
released on Wednesday.
* Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and his Dallas
counterpart Robert Kaplan are scheduled to speak at separate
events on Friday and could provide their take the outlook for
interest rate hikes.
* Traders see a more than 70 percent chance of at least
three rate hikes this year, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Strong nonfarm payrolls data could increase those bets.
* Even with a brightening economic outlook, investors are
now looking for further evidence to buy into a market that some
analysts say could be poised for a correction.
* The S&P 500 is trading at 17.5 times forward 12-month
earnings, well above the 10-year median of 14.7 times, according
to Thomson Reuters data.
* Still, the Nasdaq Composite index managed to close
at a record high driven by gains in Amazon.com. The S&P
500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average marked their first down
day for the year.
* Amgen's shares rose 4.6 percent premarket after a
U.S. district judge blocked Sanofi and Regeneron
from selling their cholesterol drug, which Amgen said
infringed its patents. Regeneron dropped 7.1 percent to $353.
* Gap rose 8.6 percent to $25.25 after the apparel
retailer posted a surprise rise in December comparable store
sales and said it expected 2016 profit to be above the higher
end of forecast.
Futures snapshot at 6:52 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were down 14 points, or 0.07 percent,
with 8,902 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 1.25 points, or 0.06
percent, with 49,204 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 1.25 points, or 0.03
percent, on volume of 7,752 contracts.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by