Stock index futures fell on Friday, with many investors expecting the May payrolls report to show more weakness in the economy, confirming recent data signaling the economic recovery is faltering.
U.S. employment gains probably lost steam in May as high energy prices and the supply chain effects of Japan's earthquake and tsunami bogged down the economy.
Nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 150,000 last month, according to a Reuters survey of economists after advancing by an 11-month high of 244,000 jobs in April.
Ever since Japan, there has been a flight to safety and we've really been topping in here, which tells me we may have an issue here because it would appear the events of Japan have had ripples through the rest of the world's economy, which is exactly what you would have expected, said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.
So it is possible that we are going to have a bad number this morning, which I don't think the market is going to take well. If the number comes in better than expected, OK, that is good, but it may just give us a temporary reprieve.
Recent economic data such as regional manufacturing data has pointed to a slowing economy, although some analysts believe the data indicates the recovery has hit a soft patch.
After closing at its highest level since June 2008 on April 29, the S&P 500 has dropped 3.7 percent.
Other data set for release include May's U.S. ISM non-manufacturing index at 10 a.m. EDT <1400 GMT>, which is likely to provide further evidence on the pace of recovery in the world's largest economy. Economists looked for a reading of 54 versus the prior month's 52.8.
S&P 500 futures fell 3.2 points and were below 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 27 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 7.25 points.
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Hackers broke into Sony Corp's <6758.T> computer networks and stole information about more than 1 million customers, further exposing the vulnerability of the electronics giant's systems.
European shares slipped early Friday, extending this week's selloff on global growth worries and on cautious ahead of the U.S. labor report. <.EU>
Asian stock markets were mixed Friday, with LG Electronics Inc <066570.KS> losing ground in Seoul on concerns about its earnings outlook, while new listings in Hong Kong attracted strong demand.
U.S. stocks ended a volatile trading session Thursday mostly flat as investors were reluctant to make bets a day before the payrolls report.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)