US futures edge higher

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WallStreet1234 REUTERS The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet.

New York - US stock index futures edged higher in low volume on Friday as traders awaited a key report on employment in the world's largest economy.

* The payrolls report, due at 8:30 a.m. EST (15:30 SA time), is expected to show the US economy created 196,000 jobs in December, slightly lower than 203,000 in November; the unemployment rate is seen steady at 7 percent.

* Wall Street may be looking for a higher number as some forecasts were raised recently and the revised numbers were not included in the current mean estimate.

* S&P 500 futures rose 7 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 57 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 20 points.

* Alcoa reported a massive quarterly loss on Thursday after recent declines in aluminum prices; its shares fell 7.5 percent in premarket trading.

* Sears Holdings Corp's shares fell 13.7 percent in light premarket trading a day after the retailer reported steep declines in comparable-store sales at its Kmart and US namesake chain for the crucial holiday season.

* Shares of trucking company YRC Worldwide fell 20 percent in premarket trading a day after sliding 16 percent after workers represented by the Teamsters union rejected a contract extension that the company proposed, putting a plan to restructure its debt in jeopardy. - Reuters

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