US STOCKS-Futures little changed ahead of U.S. jobs report

viernes 5 de febrero de 2016 08:14 GYT

* Futures up: Dow 20 pts, S&P 1.25 pts, Nasdaq 5 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

Feb 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday as investors awaited the January employment report that could provide clues on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy outlook.

* U.S. employment gains likely slowed in January to 190,000 jobs from 292,000 jobs in December as the boost to hiring from unseasonably mild weather faded. The data is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT).

* U.S. equities have been tracking oil prices since the start of the year.

* Oil prices, which were up about 1 percent, have been extremely volatile this year, and this week in particular, as a slump in the dollar and potential talks on output cuts clashed with reports of record inventories.

* Stocks have had a rough start to 2016, hurt by tepid U.S. growth, falling oil prices and concern that the world faces a China-led slowdown. Investors are also worried about the pace of rate hikes by the U.S. central bank.

* However, after a weak sentiment report on Wednesday and dovish comments from Fed officials, traders are pricing in no hikes this year, down from a call for four increases.

* That reflects growing concern the world is heading back into recession and a weak jobs report will only add to those concerns.   Continuación...