* Payroll report misses expectations, July revised down
* Fed's Evans suggests tapering won't occur in September
* American Tower to buy Global Tower Partners for $4.8 bln
* Futures up: Dow 62 pts, S&P 7.2 pts, Nasdaq 9.25 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Sept 6 U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a higher open on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track
for its fourth straight day of gains, as a weak jobs report
supported the idea that the Federal Reserve would hold steady
with its stimulus measures for now.
About 169,000 jobs were added in August, fewer than the
180,000 that had been expected, while the previous month's
report was revised sharply lower.
Futures rose after the report, while the U.S. two-year
Treasury note yield fell below 0.50 percent.
Investors had awaited the data for insight into the U.S.
labor market and the report's implications for how long the
Fed's accommodative monetary policies will continue. The central
bank has said it would slow the program if economic growth meets
its targets, and many market participants had expected the Fed
to begin scaling back stimulus from September.
"Since the report and the revision are disappointing, that
increases the odds of the Fed holding steady," said Wayne
Kaufman, chief market analyst at Rockwell Securities in New
York. "That's why we're seeing a plunge in Treasury yields,
which is positive for stock prices."
Before the report came out, Chicago Fed President Charles
Evans said the Fed could begin to wind the stimulus down later
this year, though he didn't specify a month.
S&P 500 futures rose 7.2 points and were 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 rose 62
points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 9.25 points.
For the week thus far, the S&P 500 is up 1.4 percent, its
best weekly performance since July. The Dow was on track to snap
a four-week losing streak, rising 0.9 percent, while the Nasdaq
is up 1.9 percent for the week.
Investors are continuing to assess the possibility of a
U.S.-led strike against Syria in retaliation for an alleged
chemical weapons attack against its civilians. U.S. President
Barack Obama has received support in his bid to get
Congressional authorization for a strike, though he also faces
growing pressure at the Group of 20 summit in Russia not to use
Syria has been a market driver over the past two weeks,
sparking steep swings amplified by light trading volume around
Energy prices have been among the most volatile amid the
geopolitical uncertainty, with investors concerned that military
action in the Middle East will weigh on oil supplies. Crude oil
has spiked about 2 percent over the past two weeks and
rose 1 percent on Friday.
American Tower Corp rose 2.1 percent to $70.20 in
premarket trading after the company agreed to buy Global Tower
Partners for $4.8 billion.
Timken Co rose 6.2 percent to $64 before the bell,
after the company's board approved a plan Thursday to spin off
its steel business from its bearings and power transmission
At least three brokers raised their price targets on
Infoblox Inc a day after the network security company
reported its fourth-quarter results. The stock jumped 14 percent
to $40.09 in premarket trading.
Wall Street edged up on Thursday, rising for a third day
after strong data indicated economic conditions were improving.