June 6, 2016 / 11:32 AM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures up marginally; Yellen in focus

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

June 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures inched higher on Monday as investors await Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s speech after a shockingly weak jobs report all but killed the prospects of an interest rate hike this month.

* Yellen, who recently signaled that the recovering economy could support a rate hike as soon as June, will speak before the World Affairs Council in Philadelphia at 12:30 p.m. ET (1630 GMT).

* Expectations for the next Fed rate hike were pushed back to at least July or later after U.S. May non-farm payrolls data on Friday showed employers added only 38,000 jobs in May, far below expectations of 164,000.

* Many traders suspect Yellen might craft her message to keep expectations for a July hike alive. The speech is likely to be her last before the Fed enters a media blackout period ahead of the its monetary policy meeting on June 14-15.

* Yellen speech will be assessed to see whether the Fed views the weak jobs data as an anomaly or if it reflects a broader slowing of the labor market.

* Traders are now pricing in an only 3.8 percent chance of a rate hike this month, while the odds of a July hike have slumped to 30 percent, from 49 percent before the jobs report, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

* Wall Street closed lower on Friday weighed down by bank stocks, after the dismal jobs report.

* Oil prices rose over 1 percent on Monday on a weak dollar and as attacks on oil infrastructure in Nigeria capped some output.

* Wal-Mart’s shares were up 1 percent at $71.58 premarket after Jefferies upgraded the stock to “buy”.

Futures snapshot at 7:15 a.m. EDT:

* Dow e-minis were up 29 points, or 0.16 percent, with 17,069 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 2.25 points, or 0.11 percent, with 129,882 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 7 points, or 0.16 percent, on volume of 14,340 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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