* Futures: Dow down 2 pts, S&P up 0.25 pts, Nasdaq up 1.25 pts
By Mamidipudi Soumithri and Yashaswini Swamynathan
Aug 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were flat on Wednesday as investors awaited Friday’s monthly jobs report to get a clearer picture of the health of the economy and the timing of the next interest rate hike.
* Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last Friday the case for raising rates was strengthening, but gave little hint on when the central bank would likely make its move.
* Boston Fed president and voting member Eric Rosengren, in a panel discussion in China, said the Fed should consider that quicker interest rate rises over time could stave off risks to the economy.
* Investors hope that Friday’s nonfarm payrolls data would give them a better understanding of whether the central bank could decide on a rate hike as soon as next month.
* The Federal Open Market Committee, the policymaking body of the central bank, is scheduled to meet on Sept. 20-21.
* Investors are awaiting a report by payrolls processor ADP for a reading on monthly hiring in the private sector. The report, which acts as a precursor to Friday’s jobs data, is likely to show that 175,000 jobs were added in August, after rising 179,000 in the previous month.
* The dollar index hovered near a three-week high, pressuring oil prices.
* Wall Street closed lower on Tuesday, dragged down by Apple , but gains in banks helped somewhat offset the decline.
* Apple was marginally higher at $106.10 in heavy premarket trading.
* Palo Alto fell 2.5 percent to $139.79 in thin premarket trading after the cyber security firm forecast current-quarter profit and revenue below analysts’ estimates.
Futures snapshot at 7:19 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.01 percent, with 10,808 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent, with 91,512 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 1.25 points, or 0.03 percent, on volume of 14,169 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)