LONDON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed
to a higher open on Wall Street on Friday, with futures for the
S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100
rising 0.4 to 0.5 percent.
* U.S. job growth likely picked up modestly in January and
the unemployment rate held steady, supporting views a sluggish
economic recovery was on track despite a surprise contraction in
the final three months of 2012.
* Non-farm payrolls, due at 1330 GMT, are expected to have
increased by 160,000 last month after rising 155,000 in
December, according to a Reuters survey of economists. The
jobless rate is expected to have held steady at 7.8 percent for
a third straight month.
* Exxon and Chevron, the two largest U.S. oil
companies, are expected to post stronger quarterly results.
Other major companies announcing results include Mattel
and Merck & Co..
* Dell Inc is nearing an agreement to sell itself
to a buyout consortium led by founder and Chief Executive
Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners,
possibly announcing a deal as soon as Monday, according to two
people familiar with the matter.
* Information services company Markit releases U.S. final
Markit Manufacturing PMI for January at 1358 GMT. The index read
56.1 in preliminary (flash) January release.
* MetLife Inc said it has agreed with Spain's BBVA
to buy AFP Provida S.A., the largest private pension
fund administrator in Chile, for about $2 billion in cash to
expand its presence in emerging markets.
* Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of
Consumers release final January consumer sentiment index at 145
GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 71.5
compared with 71.3 in the preliminary January report.
* Google has presented detailed proposals to allay
concerns about its business practices, the EU antitrust
regulator said on Friday, in a move which brings the company a
step closer to resolving a two-year investigation.
* The Institute for Supply Management releases its January
manufacturing index at 1500 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey
expect a reading of 50.6, versus 50.2 in December.
* The Commerce Department releases December construction
spending data at 1500 GMT. Economists forecast a rise of 0.6
percent, compared with a 0.3 percent drop in November.
* Bristol-Myers Squibb Co is seeking a buyer for
some of its brands in Mexico and Brazil with any sale possibly
bringing in as much as $750 million, the Wall Street Journal
reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
* Kraft Foods has filed a lawsuit against casual
dining chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc over
its decision to begin selling certain Cracker Barrel branded
products outside of its restaurants and stores, court documents
* Economic Cycle Research Institute releases its weekly
index of economic activity for Jan. 25 at 1530 GMT. In the prior
week, the index read 130.6.
* Asia's manufacturers face a challenging business climate
in the coming months, a clutch of surveys suggested on Friday,
with China's vast factory sector managing only a shallow rebound
at the start of 2013 as feeble foreign demand dragged on sales.
* The euro rose broadly and stocks extended gains on Friday
after better-than-expected euro zone manufacturing data fuelled
optimism that the worst of the region's debt crisis had
* U.S. stocks edged lower on Thursday on caution ahead of
Friday's all-important jobs report, but the S&P 500 still posted
its best monthly gain since October 2011.
* The Dow Jones industrial average was down 49.84
points, or 0.36 percent, at 13,860.58. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 3.85 points, or 0.26 percent, at
1,498.11. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.18
points, or 0.01 percent, at 3,142.13.