U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.4 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.32 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.28 percent at 5.13 a.m. EST.
Investors braced for U.S. ADP employment data, a predictor for the all-important government nonfarm payrolls report due at the end of the week.
The ADP employment report, due at 1315 GMT, is expected to show private employers cut only 73,000 jobs in December, less than half the 169,000 positions cut in November.
Investors also awaited the ISM Non-manufacturing index, due at 10 a.m.
GMAC Financial Services
Fertilizer producer Mosaic Co
U.S. retailers largely saw a strong finish to the 2009 holiday season even though sales fell at apparel chains and department stores in December, according to MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse.
Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> said on Wednesday it sold 21 percent more cars in China in 2009 compared with a year earlier, lagging rival General Motors'
Japan's Nikkei stock average edged up 0.5 percent to a 15-month closing high, while European stocks were little changed in morning trade as investors braced for the ADP data.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose on Tuesday as better-than-expected factory orders and a surge in vehicle sales at Ford Motor Co
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 11.94 points, or 0.11 percent, to end at 10,572.02. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 3.53 points, or 0.31 percent, to finish at 1,136.52. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> crept up just 0.29 of a point, or 0.01 percent, to close at 2,308.71.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)