US STOCKS-Futures flat at start of second quarter

* S&P 500, Nasdaq coming off 9th quarterly rise

* Crude oil down for fourth day, may pressure energy names

* Investors await data on labor market, manufacturing

* Futures: Dow up 4 pts, S&P down 1.5 pt, Nasdaq down 0.75 pt

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) – Dow Futures were little changed on Wednesday, with investors reluctant to keep pushing shares higher after both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed out their ninth straight quarter of advances.

* Trading will likely be driven by economic data for the rest of the week and investors also anticipate the start of the first-quarter earnings season. Key reports on manufacturing will be released after the market opens on Wednesday, while a report on private sector employment is due at 8:15 a.m. EDT (1215 GMT)

* The reports precede Friday’s jobs data, the most widely watched indicator of the week, though that arrives on Good Friday, when the stock market will be closed. The inability of market participants to trade off that report could generate some volatility going into the holiday.

* Data due through the week will be studied for indications on whether economic growth is brisk enough that the U.S. Federal Reserve may begin raising interest rates sooner than expected. The Fed has said it would start raising rates when it deems the economy strong enough to withstand the impact; many analysts believe the first hike will come in September.

* Major indexes are coming off a weak month in March but the S&P and Nasdaq are coming off modest first-quarter advances; the Nasdaq’s nine-quarter streak of gains was the longest in its history. The S&P 500 is down 2.3 percent from its March 2 record close.

* So far this year, health care and consumer discretionary stocks have led the gains while utilities have underperformed. Energy has also been weak as crude oil has fallen more than 11 percent in 2015, including 0.6 percent on Wednesday.

* In company news, Voltari Corp jumped 73 percent to $ 1.75 in heavy premarket trading. Late Tuesday, Carl Icahn disclosed a 52.3 percent stake in the mobile advertising company.

* UTI Worldwide Inc late Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter loss and said its revenue had dropped 10 percent. On Wednesday, Morgan Stanley cut its price target on the supply chain services company.

Futures snapshot at 6:56 a.m. EDT:

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 1.5 points, or 0.07 percent, with 201,472 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 0.75 points, or 0.02 percent, in volume of 36,568 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were up 4 points, or 0.02 percent, with 50,791 contracts changing hands.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Dow Futures

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