Wall St futures point to slightly weaker start

* Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average (DJc1: ), the
S&P 500 (SPc1: ) and the Nasdaq 100 (NDc1: ) fall 0.1 to 0.3
percent, pointing to a weaker start for equities on Wall Street
on Friday.

* Investors awaited non-farm payrolls figures, due at 1330
GMT. Economists polled by Reuters estimated that U.S. employers
added 140,000 jobs in November after adding 151,000 jobs in
October. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged
from October at 9.6 percent.

* The U.S. ISM non-manufacturing index will be released at
1500 GMT.

* Trading activity around a number of healthcare deals is
being examined by the U.S. authorities as part of investigations
into suspected insider trading by certain hedge fund players,
the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the
matter. [ID:nSGE6B203C]

The authorities are scanning deals such as MedImmune Inc’s
takeover by AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.L: ) in 2007, Merck’s (MRK.N: )
purchase of Schering-Plough and Wyeth’s takeover by Pfizer Inc
(PFE.N: ), both in 2009, the WSJ said.

* U.S.-based Walter Energy Inc (WLT.N: ) has agreed to buy
Canada’s Western Coal (WTN.TO: ) (WTN.L: ) for C$3.3 billion ($3.25
billion) to create the world’s leading metallurgical coal
producer. [ID:nLDE6B20EU]

* China will switch to a prudent monetary policy from a
moderately loose stance, the Communist Party’s top leaders
decided on Friday, a change that could pave the way for more
interest rate increases and lending controls. [ID:nTOE6B2048]

* The FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top European shares
is up 0.1 percent, after rising 3.7 percent over the previous
two sessions.

* Japan’s Nikkei share average (.N225: ) held onto recent
gains on Friday as U.S. retail and housing data raised hopes for
a swifter recovery in the world’s biggest economy while concerns
about Europe’s debt crisis eased.

* Wall Street rallied for a second day on Thursday as
concerns about Europe’s sovereign debt crisis waned, prompting
investors to reverse bearish bets on the market.

* The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) gained 106.63
points, or 0.95 percent, to 11,362.41. The Standard & Poor’s 500
Index (.SPX: ) rose 15.46 points, or 1.28 percent, to 1,221.53.
The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) added 29.92 points, or 1.17
percent, to 2,579.35.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

Wall St futures point to slightly weaker start