* U.S. nonfarm payrolls seen to have risen 170,000 in May
* Weak payrolls may ease fear of Fed scaling back stimulus
* Futures off: S&P 0.9 pt, Dow 26 pts, Nasdaq 4.5 pts
NEW YORK, June 7 U.S. stock index futures edged
lower on Friday amid caution ahead of the closely watched U.S.
nonfarm payrolls report, which is likely to provide clues on how
soon the Federal Reserve will begin to ease back on its stimulus
* Stocks have mostly declined this week ahead of the jobs
report. Investors fret that if the report is stronger than
expected, the Fed may slow down its bond-buying program, which
has fed a rally in the U.S. equity market this year.
* A pickup in market volatility over the past couple of
weeks reflects investors' concerns over the longevity of the
Fed's stimulus program and over a still-sluggish global economy.
* The Labor Department will release the May employment
report at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT). U.S. employers likely
stepped up hiring only slightly in May, a sign the economy was
growing modestly but not strongly enough to convince the Federal
Reserve to scale back the amount of cash it is pumping into the
* S&P 500 futures fell 0.9 points and were slightly
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 lost
26 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 4.5 points.
* U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with the Dow swinging nearly
200 points between the session low and high, and the S&P 500
recovering after hitting a key technical level in volatile
trading a day before the release of the U.S. jobs report.
* The S&P 500 is up about 13 percent so far this year, after
repeatedly hitting record highs. Those gains were triggered in
part by the belief the Fed's stimulus would remain in place.
* Wal-Mart Stores Inc is optimistic that sales at
its U.S. stores will recover from recent sluggishness to grow in
the second half of the year, in part because shoppers are
getting more confident, company executives said late Thursday.
* Apple shares may be in the spotlight after its rival
Samsung Electronics Co lost $12 billion in market
value on Friday, hit by brokerage downgrades spurred by concern
about slowing sales of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone.
* George Soros's firm, Soros Fund Management, which manages
$24 billion of the investor's cash, sold much of its Japanese
stock position in May, before the recent, steep sell-off,
according to a person close to the matter.