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US STOCKS-Futures little changed ahead of Fed speakers

Monday, 9 Dec 2013 | 7:52 AM ET

* Fed speakers including Lacker and Bullard to speak

* Slower China inflation reduces worries of tighter policy

* Futures: S&P up 0.7 pt; Dow up 7 pts; Nasdaq up 5.25 pts

NEW YORK, Dec 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday as investors waited for a number of top Federal Reserve officials to speak throughout the day for hints on the future of the central bank's stimulus plans.

* Gains were likely to be capped as the S&P 500 scored its best day in nearly a month on Friday following a robust jobs report that gave traders confidence that the economic recovery was gaining strength. All 10 S&P sector indexes ended solidly higher in the broad rally.

* Investors are closely eyeing speeches from Fed speakers, looking for clues on whether the strong jobs report on Friday could be a deciding factor for the Fed to start trimming its stimulus when Federal Open Market Committee holds its next meeting on Dec. 17-18.

* Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker will speak at an economic outlook conference in Charlotte, North Carolina at 12:30 a.m. ET (1730 GMT).

* St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will deliver a speech on the economy in St. Louis and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher speaks in Chicago.

* China's annual consumer inflation unexpectedly slowed in November, easing market fears of any imminent policy tightening as authorities meet this week to outline their policy and reform priorities for 2014.

* Rising money market rates and bond yields indicate the People's Bank of China (PBOC) is tightening liquidity conditions, to reduce debt levels and contain credit growth, but there is little sign of a sharp turnaround in monetary policy.

* Friday's non-farm payrolls report showed that 203,000 jobs were created in the U.S. in November, many more than expected. The jobless rate fell to a five-year low, and other data showed consumer confidence hit a five-month high.

* S&P 500 futures rose 0.7 point and were in line with fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 7 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 5.25 points.