US STOCKS-Futures edge lower, extending recent weakness

Mon Mar 9, 2015 7:08am EDT
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* Indexes have fallen for two straight weeks

* Apple to be in focus amid product event

* Whiting up in premarket, WSJ reports company seeking buyer

* Futures down: Dow 32 pts, S&P 3.5 pts, Nasdaq 7.25 pts

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Monday, pointing to a continued downtrend on Wall Street as investors continued to question whether an interest rate increase could come sooner than previously expected.

* Major indexes fell sharply on Friday, with the S&P 500 suffering its biggest one-day loss in about two months after the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for February showed jobs growth that was much stronger than expected. That was seen as possibly putting pressure on the Federal Reserve to act soon, as the central bank said it would raise rates when the economy is strong enough to support it.

* While a stronger economy is better for stocks in the long run, investors are worried that if the Fed raises rates too soon, it could dampen growth in an economy that has been slow to recover.

* The S&P 500 has fallen for two straight weeks, but remains about 2 percent from its record closing high. The Dow is also near record levels, while the Nasdaq is 2.4 percent below its record close, which was hit in March 2000.   Continued...