Stock index futures were flat on Friday before the June U.S. payrolls report, which should give investors important guidance on the economy.
Data at 8:30 a.m. is expected to show that non-farm employers stepped up hiring in June as the economy recovered from a pause in recent months, although the increase was not expected to be enough to reduce the high unemployment rate.
Non-farm payrolls are forecast to have risen by 90,000 jobs, according to a Reuters survey conducted last week. In May, employment rose by a paltry 54,000. Many economists raised their forecasts on Thursday after a stronger-than-expected reading on U.S. private hiring from payrolls processor ADP. Those economists now expect gains between 125,000 and 175,000.
S&P 500 futures slipped 0.9 point and were slightly above 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 dipped 12 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.5 points.
Data also expected on Friday includes wholesale inventories for May at 10 a.m. <1400 GMT>. Economists forecast May inventories to rise 0.7 percent versus a 0.8 percent increase in April.
President Barack Obama told top U.S. lawmakers on Thursday he would not sign a short-term extension of the U.S. debt ceiling and said negotiators would work through the weekend on a deal to avoid a debt default.
European shares rose slightly after turning lower earlier on Friday, with banking shares from the peripheral euro zone under pressure from the debt crisis. <.EU>
Chinese stocks posted their third consecutive week of gains, with retail investors bargain hunting before June inflation data due on Saturday.
U.S. stocks closed sharply higher and the Nasdaq notched an eighth day of gains on Thursday as improved labor market and retail sales data added to optimism a day before the critical June payrolls report.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)