MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Futures Pull Lower, As Investors Keep Searching For Cues

By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

ADP, services PMI on deck

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U.S. stock futures fell Thursday, with the recent tech rally showing signs of faltering, as investors waited for a raft of economic data that might give a framework for the Federal Reserve's thinking.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dropped 40 points, or 0.2%, to 21,383.00, and S&P 500 futures shed 6.5 points, or 0.3%, to 2,421.50. Nasdaq-100 futures declined 31 points, or 0.6%, to 5,620.50.

The drop in Nasdaq futures indicates the previous day's rally in technology stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-flutter-as-focus-turns-to-fed-jobs-report-2017-07-05) may lose steam. A 1% gain for tech shares helped the S&P 500 close 0.2% higher Wednesday, as the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index finished with a 0.7% rise. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended fractionally lower, down less than 0.1%.

The market will look to an update on private sector job growth on Thursday as a bellwether for Friday's marquee jobs report from the Labor Department. The Federal Reserve closely watches labor-market conditions as part of its monetary policy assessment, and the report comes as investors continue to unpick the Fed minutes released Wednesday.

Those minutes left many uncertain as to policy makers' strategy for reducing the Fed's $4.5 billion in debt holdings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-might-start-balance-sheet-drawdown-in-september-fomc-minutes-hint-2017-07-05), which has acted as support for the U.S. economy.

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Economic docket: There is a packed schedule of economic releases Thursday. ADP will release its report on private-sector employment for June at 8:15 a.m. Eastern Time. Economists polled by FactSet are looking for 183,000 jobs added, compared with 253,000 in May.

An update on weekly jobless claims is scheduled to arrive at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, with a reading of 248,000 expected. Due at the same time, a report on the trade deficit for May is expected to show a narrowing to $46.3 billion.

A snapshot of activity in the services sector in June will come from Markit at 9:45 a.m. Eastern. Then at 10 a.m. Eastern, the ISM's services index will be released.

As for Fed speakers, Gov. Jerome Powell will talk about at housing finance reform at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. at 10 a.m. Eastern. Later, Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer will speak about government policy and labor productivity at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, at Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center Summer Institute in Vineyard Haven, Mass.

See: MarketWatch's economic calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic).

Stocks in focus: Shares of Costo Wholesale Corp. (COST) rose 2.1% ahead of the bell after the retailer reported better-than-expected sales numbers for June.

Other markets: The ICE Dollar Index , which measures the buck against a basket of six currencies, was down 0.2% at 96.13. Gold gained modestly to trade above $1,225 an ounce.

Stock markets in Asia finished mostly lower, with the Nikkei Stock Average losing 0.4%. European stocks were driving lower.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 06, 2017 06:45 ET (10:45 GMT)