* 156,000 jobs added in September vs est. 175,000
* Dollar pares gains to trade flat
* Gap rises after same-store sales fall less than expected
* Futures up: Dow 45 pts, S&P 3.5 pts, 6.75 pts (Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Oct 7 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open little changed on Friday after a weaker-than-expected September jobs report appeared to reduce the chance of a U.S. interest rate hike this year.
U.S. employment growth slowed for the third straight month in September to 156,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 175,000. The unemployment rate ticked up to 5.0 percent from 4.9 percent.
“This is a good number all the way around,” said Michael Jones, chief investment officer at Riverfront Investment Group in Richmond, Virginia.
“It’s strong enough that you’re not worried about the U.S. slipping back into the kind of slump that we had in the first quarter, but it’s not so strong that it precipitates immediate action from the Fed.”
The dollar pared gains after the report.
Investors will look out for comments from Fed officials including Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, considered an interest rate hawk, and Board Governor Lael Brainard, who has been more dovish, for their take on the labor market.
Dow e-minis were up 45 points, or 0.25 percent at 8:31 a.m. ET, with 30,387 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.5 points, or 0.16 percent, with 213,102 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 6.75 points, or 0.14 percent, on volume of 30,329 contracts.
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.
Wall Street closed flat on Thursday as investors remained wary ahead of the jobs data.
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.
Gap rose 6.7 percent after the clothing retailer reported a lower-than-expected fall in comparable sales for September.
Cruise operator Carnival Corp was down 1.9 percent as a major hurricane hits Florida, threatening travel. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)