MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Futures Fight To Avoid Longest Skid Lower In About 3 Months

By Sara Sjolin and Mark DeCambre, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Boeing's shares tip higher but broader market struggles

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U.S. stock futures struggled for direction on Wednesday amid seasonally low trading volume.

Shares of Boeing Co., however, were among the early bright spots, rising after an announced deal with Royal Air Maroc.

What are stock futures doing?

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 7 points, or less than 0.1%, to 24,785, with a decline on Wednesday marking the equity benchmarks first three-session slide since a four-day drop ended Sept. 26, according to FactSet data. The S&P 500 index added 1.65 points to 2,68.75. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index climbed 1 point, or less than 0.1%, at 6,461.

On Tuesday, U.S. stocks finished slightly lower as a decline in Apple Inc. (AAPL) more than offset postholiday gains in the retail sector and a surge in crude-oil futures that took the commodity to a 2 1/2 -year high. The Dow average closed 0.03% lower on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 index dropped 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite Index ended down 0.3%.

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All three benchmarks saw the lowest volume for the year for a full trading day.

What's driving the markets?

Markets both in Europe and the U.S. were trading in tight ranges, with many traders likely to remain on vacation until after the New Year's holiday on Monday. Last week, stocks rallied to records after the Republicans passed the most sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years as well as a stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded into early 2018.

Later in Wednesday's session, data on consumer confidence for December and pending home sales for November could help steer the market action. Both reports are out at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Which stocks are in focus?

Shares of Boeing Co.(BA) rose 1% in thin premarket action after the plane manufacturer said Morocco's Royal Air Maroc has ordered four Dreamliners valued at $1.1 billion at list prices.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) was also in focus after reports the company is being sued for slowing down older iPhone models without warning to compensate for poor battery performance.

Shares of Pareteum Corp.(TEUM) soared 23% ahead of the bell, building on a 120% rally from Tuesday, when the provider of telecom software and systems said it has "completed development enabling it to add support of Blockchain technology to its billing and settlement services."

What are other markets doing?

Stocks in Asia closed mixed, while European benchmarks struggled for direction (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-seesaw-as-traders-return-from-christmas-break-2017-12-27) around the flatline.

Oil prices dropped (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-pulls-back-from-highs-as-investors-mull-production-outage-in-libya-2017-12-27), with West Texas Intermediate declining from its highest settlement since June 2015 reached on Tuesday.

Metals were mostly higher, with gold up 0.2% at $1,290 an ounce.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.2% at 93.103.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 27, 2017 07:45 ET (12:45 GMT)