May 4, 2018 / 11:46 AM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Futures dip ahead of April jobs data

* Futures dip: Dow 0.16 pct, S&P 0.20 pct, Nasdaq 0.20 pct

By Sruthi Shankar

May 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were marginally lower on Friday, as caution set in ahead of the April employment report, but were off earlier lows on news that China and the United States had reached a consensus on some aspects of the trade row.

China has offered to buy more U.S. goods and lower tariffs on some items, including cars, Reuters reported after Xinhua news agency said Sino-U.S. talks had made progress on some aspects, though disagreements over other issues remained.

The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show U.S. job growth likely increased by 192,000 jobs in April after a weather-related slowdown in March.

Investors will also keep a close eye on wage growth for signs of inflation pressure. Average hourly earnings is seen to have risen 0.2 percent after a 0.3 percent increase in March. The unemployment rate is expected to hit a near 17-1/2-year low of 4.0 percent.

With the Federal Reserve confident of sustained inflation, worries about higher interest rates, tariffs and rising raw material costs have overshadowed what is set to be the strongest quarterly earnings season in seven years.

At 7:29 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 38 points, or 0.16 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 5.25 points, or 0.2 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 13 points, or 0.2 percent.

Among stocks, Apple rose 1.0 percent after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway raised its stake in the iPhone maker.

Alibaba rose 4.0 percent after reporting better-than-expected quarterly revenue, driven by steady sales in its core ecommerce and cloud computing businesses.

Pandora Media jumped 13.0 percent after the music streaming service provider reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss.

Twitter dropped 1.0 percent after disclosing a glitch that led to some passwords being stored in readable text on its internal computer system rather than disguised by a process known as “hashing”. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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