July 8, 2016 / 11:17 AM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures cautiously higher ahead of crucial jobs data

* Futures up: Dow 35 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 7.5 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

July 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were marginally higher on Friday as investors braced for crucial monthly jobs data that would determine the health of the labor market.

* Strong June non-farm payrolls data will help assuage some concerns about the health of the economy that were sparked after a lackluster May jobs report.

* The report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), is likely to show that 175,000 jobs were created in June, compared with a paltry 38,000 in the previous month.

* Unemployment in June is expected to have risen marginally to 4.8 percent, compared with a 4.7 percent gain in May, another report also at 8:30 a.m. ET is likely to show.

* Britain’s shock vote to end its European Union membership last month threw global markets into disarray. The U.S. Federal Reserve had held interest rates steady in June, citing uncertainty surrounding the vote and its consequences.

* A strong June jobs report will provide some relief, but is not expected lead to a rate hike this year. A weak reading, however, will aggravate the risk-off mood sparked by the risks to global growth, especially after Brexit.

* Fed funds futures pricing show a greater likelihood of a rate cut, rather than a hike, in the coming months. The Fed next meets on July 26-27.

* Even as investors expressed some optimism ahead of the jobs data, 10-year Treasury yields remained near record lows and prices of safe-haven gold was on track to rise for the sixth straight week.

* The S&P 500 and the Dow closed lower on Thursday weighed by energy shares, while a rise in Costco and tech stocks helped the Nasdaq booked small gains.

* Oil struggled to claw back some of its sharp losses on Thursday, and were set to end down more than 7 percent for the week.

* Shares of gun makers Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger rose about 4 percent in premarket trading on news that snipers killed five police officers during rallies in the Dallas to protest against the fatal shooting of two black men this week.

* Juno dropped 27 percent to $29.80 after the drug developer’s cancer study was halted following the death of three patients.

Futures snapshot at 6:58 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 35 points, or 0.2 percent, with 17,766 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.24 percent, with 130,904 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 7.5 points, or 0.17 percent, on volume of 21,259 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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