* Futures down: Dow 42 pts, S&P 6.75 pts, Nasdaq 15 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Oct 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Friday as investors counted down to the September payrolls report, which is expected to influence the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates.
* The U.S. Labor Department will release its non-farm payrolls report at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT). The data is expected to show that 175,000 jobs were added in the private and public sectors last month, compared with 151,000 in August.
* The dollar index rose to a 10-week high on Friday against a basket of major currencies, rising for the fourth day in the week as economic data reinforced a popular view that the central bank will raise rates in December.
* Sterling plunged as much as 10 cents to $1.1491 in just a few minutes in Asia, a “flash crash” that fueled concerns about the vulnerability of the British currency.
* Traders have priced in only a small chance of a rate hike in November as the Fed meets just days before the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election. However, the CME Group’s FedWatch tool shows a near 64 percent chance of a move in December.
* Wall Street closed flat on Thursday as investors remained wary ahead of the jobs data.
* Fed officials including Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, considered an interest rate hawk, and Board Governor Lael Brainard, who has been more dovish, will speak at separate events following the jobs report.
* Brent crude, which has closed above $50 all this week, fell slightly as the dollar strengthened.
* Shares of GW Pharmaceuticals were up nearly 2 percent at $135.72 premarket after Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of the stock with a “buy” rating.
* CIT Group rose 8.4 percent to $39.45 after Avolon Holdings said it would buy the company’s $10 billion aircraft leasing business.
* Cruise operator Carnival Corp was down 1.9 percent as a major hurricane hits Florida, threatening travel.
Futures snapshot at 6:46 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were down 42 points, or 0.23 percent, with 21,871 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 6.75 points, or 0.31 percent, with 153,313 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 15 points, or 0.31 percent, on volume of 21,611 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)