* U.S. jobs report to signal stronger growth momentum
* Astrazeneca rejects Pfizer's raised bid of $106 bln
* Futures: Dow up 3 pts, S&P up 1 pt, Nasdaq up 1 pt
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, May 2 U.S. stock index futures were
little changed Friday on caution ahead of the key U.S. nonfarm
payrolls report for April.
* The payrolls report, due out at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT),
is expected to show U.S. hiring likely increased at its quickest
pace in five months in April, which would bolster hopes of a
strong rebound in economic activity in the second quarter.
* Employers probably added 210,000 jobs last month after
increasing headcount by 192,000 in March, according to a Reuters
poll. That would also beat the pace of payrolls gains in the
first quarter, of 177,667 jobs per month.
* Data released Thursday showed the number of Americans
filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose
last week, but the underlying trend continued to point to
improving labor market conditions.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures added 1 point and were in
line 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 rose 3
points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 1 point.
* U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc 's sweetened 63 billion
pound ($106 billion) bid for AstraZeneca Plc was
promptly rejected by the British company Friday.
Pfizer shares were little changed in premarket trade.
* LinkedIn Corp shares slipped more than 3 percent
in premarket trading, a day after the social networking company
forecast 2014 revenue below Wall Street's expectations,
underscoring concerns about its ability to sustain its rapid
growth and helping to drag its shares lower.
* German drugmaker Bayer AG is nearing an
agreement to buy Merck & Co Inc's consumer healthcare
unit, people familiar with the matter said, in a deal that could
value the business at around $14 billion.
* The S&P 500 ended little changed on Thursday as investors
paused ahead of Friday's jobs report, though gains in Internet
shares helped lift the Nasdaq.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)