US STOCKS-Futures lower as investors await earnings, data
* Futures down: Dow 34 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 14 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
Aug 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Tuesday as investors awaited earnings reports from a batch of companies that includes Walt Disney Co and Kellogg .
* Investors are also taking to the sidelines ahead of Friday's monthly jobs data, which is shaping up to be critical for markets as it can provide clues on the timing of a rate hike. The U.S. economy created 225,000 new jobs in July, according to economists polled by Reuters.
* Wall Street ended lower on Monday as tumbling oil prices dragged energy shares to a three-year low and factory data from China raised concerns about the world's second-biggest economy.
* In the United States, consumer spending recorded its smallest gain in four months, while the pace of growth in the manufacturing sector slowed in July.
* Soft data has prompted some investors to argue that the U.S. Federal Reserve might hold off on raising rates until December. After the Fed meeting last week, September was seen as a more possible date for a hike.
* The Fed, which has kept interest rates near zero for nearly a decade, has said it will raise rates only when it sees a sustained recovery in the economy.
* Oil prices steadied but have fallen more than 20 percent over the last month, while copper - seen as a bellwether of global growth - nudged off a six-year low. Continuación...