* Feb payrolls top expectations
* International trade deficit narrows
* Foot Locker climbs in premarket after results
* Bank of America climbs after Fed stress tests
* Futures off: Dow 45 pts, S&P 5.5 pts, Nasdaq 2 pts (Adds data, quote)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were poised to open lower Friday, with the S&P 500 on track for a second week of declines, as a strong monthly jobs report heightened expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than anticipated.
Nonfarm payrolls rose 295,000 last month, topping estimates for a gain of 240,000 jobs, after a downwardly revised 239,000 gain in January. The unemployment rate ticked down to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent in January.
“People are trying to figure out whether the Fed is going to increase rates, probably now on a June time frame versus the September that was kind of the default the market had been looking at before. So this much stronger-than-expected number could push that date up,” said Tracie McMillion, head of asset allocation at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The data boded well for economic growth, she said.
“This is a surprise to markets, we were expecting potentially a number below the expected number because of weather and other factors, but to get a number this strong given the expected loss of jobs in energy and the impact of weather is very positive for the U.S. economy.”
A separate report showed international trade for January narrowed to a $ 41.8 billion deficit from a $ 46.6 billion gap in December, and was roughly in line with the $ 41.7 billion estimate.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 5.5 points and fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract, indicated a lower open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures fell 45 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures lost 2 points.
The S&P 500 is down 0.2 percent for the week. Moves for major Wall Street indexes have been modest in either direction since March 2, when the both the Dow and S&P hit records and the Nasdaq climbed above 5,000 for the first time in 15 years.
Staples lost 2.2 percent to $ 16.14 in premarket after the office supply retailer reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales and said sales in the current quarter would be lower than in the same quarter last year.
Foot Locker gained 5 percent to $ 59.90 before the opening bell after the athletic footwear and apparel retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings.
All 31 U.S. banks passed a test of how they would do in another possible economic crisis, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday, but those with large trading books came out weak because of new elements in the check-up. Bank of America shares rose 2.4 percent to $ 16.39 before the opening bell.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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