* Analysts say Fed could address tapering next week * Nonfarm payrolls for July could clarify labor market health By Luciana Lopez NEW YORK, July 26 Prices for U.S. Treasuries rose slightly on Friday, with investors reluctant to take on large positions ahead of major events next week that could give direction on when the Federal Reserve might slow its massive asset-buying program. "I just think they're waiting for more clues about what's going to happen. A lot of people want to know, is tapering going to start in September," said Dimitri Delis, interest-rate strategist at BMO Capital Markets in Chicago. But he cautioned that the Fed's decision will depend on incoming economic data. "I think if you start getting some weaker numbers, you might see some of these expectations being scaled back," Delis said. The benchmark 10-year note rose 3/32 in price on Friday to yield 2.568 percent, from 2.577 percent late on Thursday. The 30-year bond gained 7/32 in price on Friday to yield 3.634 percent, from 3.646 percent late on Thursday. Yields for both 10- and 30-year Treasuries rose for the week, retaking most of the ground lost in the previous week. With little economic data or news to spur yields to new highs or lows this week, many investors have sat on the sidelines, waiting for information on the biggest question in Treasuries at the moment: When will the Fed pause its $85 billion per month buying in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities? Fed officials, including Chairman Ben Bernanke, have hinted that the U.S. central bank is looking at pulling back the purchases as the economy improves. As a result, yields have risen more or less steadily since May, even as Fed speakers have hastened to reassure markets that a slowing in the so-called quantitative easing purchase program does not mean the Fed will hike benchmark rates any time soon. The Fed holds a policy meeting next week, with a statement set for the second and final day, Wednesday. Depending on what the Fed says, bearish trendlines, in place since around early May, could get broken, said William O'Donnell, head Treasury strategist with RBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut. "If the trendlines are broken, that would turn my medium-term price momentum bullish," he said. "I think if those trends break, 2.25 (percent yield on the 10-year note) is a shoo-in." As part of that ongoing stimulus program, the Fed on Friday bought $1.464 billion of Treasuries maturing between February 2036 and November 2042. A major factor in Fed policy decisions will be the health of the U.S. labor market. Nonfarm payrolls figures for July, due next Friday, could help investors gauge whether the jobs market is strengthening enough for the Fed to wean the economy off QE. Policymakers want to see the unemployment rate closer to 6.5 percent than its current 7.6 percent. While the nonfarm payrolls data could move markets, the Fed "has been at pains to stress that it will be very careful in withdrawing its accommodation, so even if the gain in payrolls is more than anticipated, markets are unlikely to conclude that there will be a sudden radical shift in policy," wrote Jessica Hinds of Capital Economics to clients. "This should help to prevent a renewed surge in bond yields," she added. In addition, U.S. consumer sentiment rose in July to its highest in six years as Americans felt better about the current economic climate, though they expected to see a slower rate of growth in the year ahead, a survey showed.