September 6, 2016 / 11:37 AM / in 2 years

US STOCKS-Futures flat as investors assess rate hike chances

* Futures up: Dow 16 pts, S&P 1.75 pts, Nasdaq 5 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Sept 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Tuesday as investors weigh the chances of an interest rate hike this month following a tepid jobs report.

* About 151,000 jobs were added in August, far less than in the past two months, raising doubts about the U.S. economy’s ability to absorb a rate hike in the near-term.

* Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in a meeting last month that the case for higher rates had strengthened, encouraged by a strong labor market and fewer risks to economic outlook.

* While Yellen had not specified the timing of the next hike, top Fed officials, including Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, have hinted at a move as soon as this month.

* Stock index futures were supported by a 1 percent rise in U.S. crude prices on Tuesday.

* Wall Street ended higher on Friday as a weak jobs report trimmed the prospects of a rate hike when the Fed meets on Sept. 20-21.

* Traders see a 21 percent chance of a rate hike this month, down from 24 percent, after Friday’s jobs numbers. The odds edged down to 50.6 percent from 53.6 percent for December, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

* A reading of the Institute for Supply Management’s index for non-manufacturing activity is expected to remain little changed at 55 in August, compared with 55.5 percent in July. The report is due at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT)

* Investors have been keeping a keen eye on comments from Fed officials for clues on when the next rate hike could come. San Francisco Fed President John Williams is scheduled to speak on economic outlook in Reno, Nevada on Tuesday.

* Shares of molecular diagnostics company Cepheid jumped 24.4 percent premarket after the company agreed to be bought by Danaher for $4 billion, including debt. Danaher’s shares were marginally lower.

* Monsanto rose 1.73 percent after German chemical maker Bayer sweetened its bid to buy the world’s largest seed company.

* Intel rose 1 percent to $36.47 in thin premarket trading on Tuesday after Evercore ISI upgraded the stock to “buy”.

Futures snapshot at 7:27 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 16 points, or 0.09 percent, with 30,470 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.75 points, or 0.08 percent, with 216,830 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.1 percent, on volume of 33,147 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru)

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