NEW YORK – The stock index futures dipped slightly on Friday as investors remained cautious ahead of a key monthly jobs report which was expected to have been impacted by Sandy, a massive storm that swept through the U.S. Northeast.
U.S. non-farm employment, due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT), is forecast to have risen by 93,000 jobs in November after gaining 171,000 in October, according to a Reuters survey. The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at 7.9 percent.
Superstorm Sandy, which caused widespread damage and power outages, likely put a dent in U.S. jobs growth in November, temporarily interrupting a recently established trend of modestly rising payrolls.
Also to be released Friday is the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index, at 9:55 a.m. ET (1455 GMT). Economists surveyed by Reuters expect a preliminary December reading of 82.4 from 82.7 a month earlier.
S&P 500 futures fell 2.2 points and were below in terms of fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 10 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 2.50 points.
European shares fell Friday after Germany's central bank slashed its growth forecasts, and as investors booked profits on concerns U.S. jobs data may disappoint.
The Bundesbank cut its growth outlook for Germany, the euro zone's largest economy, on Friday, less than 24 hours after the European Central Bank slashed its own forecasts for the bloc, darkening the prospects for European corporate profits next year.
Amarin Corporation shares fell 18.5 percent to $9.74 in premarket trading after the bio-pharmaceutical company raised $100 million in financing to help it launch its heart drug Vascepa but disappointed investors who had hoped for a sale or partnership.
Netflix Inc will be in focus. The company said Thursday securities regulators warned they may bring civil action against the firm and its chief executive for violating public disclosure rules with a Facebook post. The case raises questions about how public companies communicate on social media.
Gun marker Smith & Wesson posted revenue that beat Wall Street estimates on continued demand for its pistols and sporting rifles. The company also raised its full-year profit outlook.
U.S. stocks closed modestly higher in thin trading Thursday as a rebound in shares of Apple lifted technology shares.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Bernadette Baum)