* January nonfarm payrolls 151,000 vs 190,000 est
* Unemployment rate falls to 4.9 pct
* Average hourly earnings rise 12 cents, or 0.5 pct
* LinkedIn slumps after forecast misses estimates
* Futures down: Dow 45 pts, S&P 7 pts, Nasdaq 15 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
Feb 5 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open lower on Friday after data showed U.S. employment gains slowed more than expected in January as the boost to hiring from unseasonably mild weather faded.
Nonfarm payrolls increased by 151,000 jobs last month, below the 190,000 expected by economists polled by Reuters.
Despite the expected slowdown in job growth, the unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent, the lowest since February 2008, and average hourly earnings increased 0.5 percent, suggesting the labor market recovery remains firm.
“I‘m a little surprised the markets reacted somewhat negatively to it,” said Sean Lynch, co-head of global equity strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in Omaha, Nebraska.
“The only thing that might counter balance that headline number is the average hourly earnings. That could worry the Fed a little bit and worry investors that a possible rate rise is still on the table.”
Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said the economy needs to create just under 100,000 jobs a month to keep up with growth in the working age population.
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.
However, after a weak sentiment report on Wednesday and dovish comments from Fed officials, traders are pricing in no hikes this year, down from four increases.
At 8:39 a.m. ET (1339 GMT), Dow e-minis were down 45 points, or 0.28 percent, with 46,871 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were down 6.5 points, or 0.34 percent, with 280,221 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 15.25 points, or 0.37 percent, on volume of 45,195 contracts.
Adding to the list of concerns, fourth-quarter S&P 500 earnings are expected to have fallen 4.2 percent from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters data.
LinkedIn slumped 33.7 percent to $127.40 in premarket trading, a day after the company’s forecast missed estimates.
Symantec was up 9.5 percent at $21 after the anti virus software maker said Silver Lake Partners had invested $500 million in the company.
Tyson Foods was up 4.5 percent at $54.30 after the biggest U.S. meat processor raised its full-year profit forecast. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Don Sebastian)