RTTNews - After seeing substantial weakness in the previous session, stocks could see some further downside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently indicating a modestly lower open, with the Dow futures down 20 points.
The downward momentum for the markets comes as traders digest some disappointing employment data, with a report from Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) showing a bigger than expected drop in private sector jobs in August.
ADP said that non-farm private employment fell by 298,000 jobs in August following a revised decrease of 360,000 jobs in July. Economists had expected a decrease of about 246,000 jobs compared to the loss of 371,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Separately, the Labor Department released its revised report on labor productivity in the second quarter, showing that productivity increased by more than previously estimated amid a smaller than expected drop in output.
The report showed that productivity increased by 6.6 percent in the second quarter compared to the 6.4 percent increase that was reported last month. Economists had been expecting productivity growth to be unchanged at 6.4 percent.
Additionally, the Labor Department said that unit labor costs decreased by a revised 5.9 percent in the second quarter compared to the previously reported 5.8 percent drop.
Later today, the minutes of the Federal Reserve's August meeting will be in focus, as traders will look for the Fed's most recent economic outlook. The minutes are scheduled to be released at 2:00 p.m. ET.
In corporate news, video-game publisher Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) said Tuesday after the markets closed that it swung to a third quarter loss, as revenue dropped 68 percent from last year, when it benefited from the post-launch performance of its blockbuster title Grand Theft Auto IV.
Filtration systems maker Donaldson Co. (DCI) said that its fourth quarter profit declined by 51.5 percent from last year, hurt by restructuring expenses and the negative impact of foreign currency translation.
Meanwhile, London-based British Petroleum (BP) revealed that it has made a giant oil discovery at its Tiber Prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The well was drilled in Keathley Canyon block 102.
Stocks saw substantial weakness on Tuesday, as traders largely saw the day's positive economic news as already priced into the market. The Dow fell by 186 points to 9,311, the Nasdaq declined by 40 points to 1,969 and the S&P 500 fell by 23 points to 998.
Crude oil futures have drifted higher in early commodities trading, rising by $0.14 to $68.19 a barrel after moving notably lower in the previous session. The price of gold is also gaining, rising by $0.60 to $955.80 an ounce.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is mixed versus the major European currencies, rising to $1.4211 versus the euro and sliding to $1.6215 versus the pound. Meanwhile, the dollar is lower against the yen, trading at 92.40 yen.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region closed mostly lower on Wednesday. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed down by 2.4 percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 1.8 percent.
The major European markets are also moving lower, with the French CAC 40 and German DAX Index both falling by 1 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 is down by 0.6 percent.
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