U.S. stock index futures were flat on Wednesday as investors awaited a private-sector employment report and the Federal Reserve's Beige Book of regional economic conditions.
Investors may look to the ADP National Employment private sector survey for clues ahead of Friday's non-farm payrolls report. Analysts expect the number of private-sector job losses to shrink to 155,000 from 203,000 in October. The ADP report is due to come at 8:15 a.m. EST.
Right now the biggest factor in the Christmas season is employment, said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in New York.
We've come back a long way, but the key also is the market is no longer just looking for steady and constant unemployment. They are looking for indications that hiring is at least beginning.
The Federal Reserve periodic Beige Book survey of regional U.S. economic conditions is scheduled for release at 2 p.m. EST.
S&P 500 futures added 0.4 points and were slightly above 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 dipped 7 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures shed 1.5 points.
U.S. crude futures fell nearly 1 percent to below $78 per barrel after industry data showed a surprise build in U.S. crude stocks, raising doubts over demand recovery.
General Motors Co's
European shares were little changed after their biggest one-day gain in more than 4 months in the previous session, as a decline in banking stocks offset gains in pharmaceutical and food shares.
Asian stocks rose as investors chased higher returns, confident that Dubai's debt woes will be contained.
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed at its highest level in 14 months as a weak dollar boosted shares of natural resource companies and economic data reinforced hopes for a sustainable recovery.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)