U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday as investors awaited data on the labor market for clues ahead of a critical employment report and Greece took steps to meet fiscal targets.
The ADP Employment report for February is released at 8:15 a.m., and investors will look for any signals to the strength of the labor market ahead of the government payrolls report due at the end of the week. The ADP data is expected to show U.S. private payrolls shed 20,000 jobs last month after losing 22,000 jobs in January, according to Reuters estimates.
Greece's cabinet on Wednesday decided to take extra austerity measures totaling $6.49 billion to ensure it reaches key fiscal goals this year, a government source said.
People have moved past it. Unless the situation there really reverses, the assumption is there will be a bailout of some sort, and the detail of it probably is not that significant to U.S. investors, said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in New York.
There is some concern that if Greece does resolve, that the markets move on to other problems of nations in Europe, it is something that will stay with us for all of 2010.
At 10 a.m., the Institute for Supply Management releases its February non-manufacturing index. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a reading of 51.0 versus 50.5 in January.
Later in the session, the U.S. Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book measuring economic activity across its 12 districts.
S&P 500 futures shed 1.2 points and were slightly 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 dipped 9 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 4 points.
Merger activity remains on the upswing, as Pfizer Inc
After initially climbing in premarket trade, shares of Pfizer reversed and slipped 1.2 percent to $17.39 after the company said its Alzheimer's drug, Dimebon, being developed with Medivation Inc
Costco Wholesale Corp
Rival BJ's Wholesale Club Inc
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)