* Trading expected to be light ahead of holiday
* Indexes on track for fourth straight week of gains
* Chicago PMI, consumer sentiment data on tap
* Futures up: Dow 15 pts, S&P 2.5 pts, Nasdaq 7.25 pts (Updates prices, adds economic data)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Aug 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to modest gains at the open on Friday, indicating the market’s recent upswing was intact with major indexes on track for their fourth straight week of gains.
* Stocks have been strong of late, with investors taking any opportunity to buy on dips. However, this week’s trading volume has been among the lightest of the year, and that is likely to be more pronounced on Friday, ahead of the Labor Day holiday in the United States for which markets will be closed on Monday.
* In the latest economic data, consumer spending unexpectedly fell in July as savings rose to their highest level in more than 1-1/2 years, a sign that households remain cautious despite an acceleration in economic and jobs growth.
* After the market opens, the MNI Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index and the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers will be released. Both are seen rising modestly.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 2.5 points and were above 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 e-mini futures rose 15 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures rose 7.25 points.
* For the week, the Dow is up 0.5 percent, the S&P is up 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq is up 0.4 percent, the fourth straight week of gains for all three. For the month of August, the Dow is up 3.1 percent, S&P is up 3.4 percent and the Nasdaq is up 4.3 percent. Both the Dow and S&P have climbed in six of the past seven months.
* Since falling to a near three-month low on Aug. 7, the benchmark S&P index had risen for 11 of the prior 14 sessions, pushing above 2,000 for the first time this week and hitting multiple records.
* Over the past 250 sessions, the S&P has posted an average daily move of 14.4 points, measuring from each day’s high to its low. Over the past 14 sessions, it has had a move larger than that only once.
* U.S. shares of AstraZeneca rose 2.5 percent to $76.09 in premarket trading after the company’s cancer drug pipeline was boosted by news it had moved its immuno-oncology medicine MEDI-4736 into a mid-stage study in colorectal cancer.
* Splunk Inc jumped 6.9 percent to $48.41 before the bell a day after posting strong revenue growth and raising its full-year sales outlook.
* The Financial Times reported that Apple Inc is working with NXP Semiconductors NV to add secure near-field communications technology into the next iPhone, which would enable smartphone users to pay by touch. Shares of Apple edged 0.3 percent higher to $102.60 in premarket trading while NXP rose 2.7 percent to $68.80.
* Investors continue to monitor the tense situation between Russia and Ukraine. While few U.S. companies have heavy exposure to either country, investors are concerned about the potential response by the United States and Europe to any escalation in hostility. (Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)