* ADP employment slightly below estimate, prior month
* Factory orders data on tap
* MannKind shares soar as diabetes drug gets FDA backing
* Futures up: Dow 11 pts, S&P 0.5 pt, Nasdaq up 3.75 pts
(Adds ADP data, updates prices)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, April 2 U.S. stocks were set for a
flat open on Wednesday, indicating the S&P 500 will hold near
its record high reached in the prior session, after data on the
labor market was slightly below expectations.
* U.S. private employers added 191,000 workers in March,
slightly below the 195,000 forecast, while gains in the prior
month were revised higher to 178,000 from the previously
reported 139,000, signaling the dampening effects of harsh
winter weather on job growth may be fading.
* Later in the session at 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT), the factory
orders report for February is due. Investors will be looking for
signs of growth after the previous month's decline of 0.7
percent was attributed to a harsh winter. Analysts polled expect
an increase of 1.2 percent.
* Shares of MannKind Corp nearly doubled in price,
soaring 88.3 percent to $7.57 in premarket trading Wednesday.
U.S. health advisers Tuesday recommended approval of the
company's inhaled diabetes drug.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures gained 0.5 point and were
roughly even with 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
added 11 points and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 3.75
* The S&P 500 closed at a record high Tuesday after data on
factory activity indicated economic growth was gaining traction.
* Fertilizer company Agrium Inc said a late
start to spring and railroad-related backlogs will result in
first-quarter earnings per share just above breakeven.
* Apollo Education Group Inc lost 3.7 percent to
$33.85 before the opening bell. It reported lower-than-expected
quarterly revenue and said it had received a subpoena from the
U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General
seeking information about the operations of the Northeast region
of the University of Phoenix.
* DFC Global Corp gained 7.2 percent to $9.63 in
premarket. The pawn and payday lender said it would be acquired
by private equity firm Lone Star Funds for about $1.3 billion,
(Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)