U.S. stock futures were little changed on Wednesday ahead of key reports on the labor market, factory orders and the vast services sector and after a disappointing outlook from Procter & Gamble Co.
Procter & Gamble
Investors are on the lookout for more definitive signs of an economic turnaround from the July ADP private-sector employment report due at 8:15 a.m. (1215 GMT), two days before the release of the all-important government non-farm payrolls data for July.
The ADP report could dictate today's trading, said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.
The matter now is whether we are going to go flat here to digest the overbought conditions, or we start to roll over again as a lot of good news is discounted.
The ADP data is expected to show U.S. employers cut 345,000 private-sector jobs in July, according to economists' median forecast, less than the 473,000 shed in June.
The Institute for Supply Management is scheduled to release its July report on the services sector at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT). According to a Reuters poll of economists, the ISM non-manufacturing index is forecast to rise to 48.0 from 47.0 the month before.
Also at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT), the U.S. Commerce Department releases June factory orders. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a fall of 1.0 percent month over month compared with a 1.2 percent rise in May.
S&P 500 futures shed 0.20 points and were below 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 rose 1 point, and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 2.5 points.
Boockvar said the market was likely head higher, provided the data reaffirms the recent optimism that the recession is moderating.
In Tuesday's trading Wall Street extended gains in choppy trading, lifting the benchmark S&P 500 index <.SPX> to a fresh nine-month closing high. The tech-heavy Nasdaq scored its highest close since early October.
The S&P 500 is now up 48.7 percent since hitting a 12-year low on March 9.
(Reporting by Angela Moon and Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)