* Futures up: Dow 36 pts, S&P 5.25 pts, Nasdaq 13.75 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
Dec 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures started the week higher on Monday after a strong jobs report last week underscored U.S. economic strength.
* The solid November employment report showed that the economy was strong enough to absorb a widely expected interest rate hike when the Federal Reserve meets on Dec. 15-16.
* The report came a day after Fed Chair Janet Yellen struck an upbeat note on the economy when she testified before lawmakers, describing how it had largely met the criteria for a rate hike.
* U.S. stocks rallied on Friday, giving the S&P 500 its biggest gain since early September.
* Traders see a 79 percent chance that the central bank will increase rates for the first time in nearly a decade, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch.
* St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard is scheduled to speak on the U.S. economy at 12:30 p.m. ET (1430 GMT). Bullard is not a voting member of the central bank’s policy setting committee.
* The Fed is scheduled to report the outstanding credit extended to American consumers at 3:30 p.m. ET. The figure for October is expected to have fallen to $20.00 billion from $28.92 billion in September.
* Oil prices edged closer to 2015 lows on Monday after OPEC’s meeting ended last week without a reference to its output ceiling and a stronger dollar made it more expensive to hold crude positions.
* Chipotle Mexican Grill shares fell 9.1 percent to $510.00 in premarket trading, after the popular burrito chain warned that sales at established restaurants would fall in the fourth quarter due to the impact of an E. coli outbreak.
* Alcoa was up 1.9 percent at $9.52 after a Barron’s article said the company’s split could boost shares by 50 percent.
Futures snapshot at 7:05 a.m. ET:
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.25 points, or 0.25 percent, with 114,052 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 13.75 points, or 0.29 percent, on volume of 17,060 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were up 36 points, or 0.2 percent, with 15,737 contracts changing hands. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)