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.

Also, 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 is snapping up rival Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates Inc for $4.9 billion in cash as it looks to acquire new technology to meet increased demand for smartphones and solar equipment.

Varian shares surged 50.6 percent to $61.05 in premarket trade.

ConAgra Foods Inc raised its bid for Ralcorp Holdings Inc to $86 a share in cash from $82 in cash and stock as it seeks to grow its private-label food business.

Ralcorp shares jumped 10.4 percent to $92 premarket.

S&P 500 futures shed 1.6 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 9 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 5.25 points.

Corporate profit reports will continue to filter in as earnings season begins to wind down. IntercontinentalExchange Inc , Kellogg Co and News Corp are scheduled to report.

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.

European stocks extended losses Wednesday around midday in a broad retreat led by mining and energy stocks, eclipsing robust results from BNP Paribas . <.EU>

Asian shares fell along with commodity prices as the dollar rose, causing a pullback in risk-taking.

U.S. stocks fell 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)