New York - US stock index futures were little changed Friday on caution ahead of the key US 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.