U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Wednesday as investors awaited data on the services industry and labor market for insight into the health of the economic recovery.
The ADP employment report at 8:15 a.m. EST is expected to show job creation slowed modestly, with economists forecasting the number of private jobs grew by 198,000 in April, compared with 201,000 a month earlier.
The ISM non-manufacturing index for April is due at 10 a.m. EST, with economists forecasting a tick up to 57.4 from 57.3 on the back of growth in its business activity index.
Chip equipment maker Applied Materials Inc
Varian shares surged 51.4 percent to $61.40 in premarket trade.
The market always appreciates M&A deals as it helps the all-around picture. However, that can only take you so far, said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York.
So this morning we are having another bout ... at least early on of indecision while we wait for something substantial to direct us.
ConAgra Foods Inc
Ralcorp shares jumped 8 percent to $90 premarket.
S&P 500 futures shed 2.4 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 dropped 16 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 5.75 points.
Corporate profit reports will continue to filter in as earnings season begins to wind down. Whole Foods Market Inc
Through Tuesday, with 360 of the S&P 500 companies having reported, 71 percent had earnings that topped Wall Street expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Las Vegas Sands Corp
European stocks extended losses Wednesday down about 0.6 percent at midday in a broad retreat led by mining and energy stocks, eclipsing robust results from BNP Paribas
Asian shares fell along with commodity prices as the dollar rose, causing a pullback in risk-taking.
U.S. stocks declined Tuesday as investors questioned the sustainability of the rally in light of fresh worries about earnings growth in the coming quarters.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)