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U.S. stock-index futures fell deeper into the red on Wednesday after a report showed the private sector added more jobs than expected in November.
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As of 8:46 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 22 points, or 0.14%, to 15868, S&P 500 futures fell 4 points, or 0.22%, to 1788 and Nasdaq 100 futures slumped 5 points, or 0.14%, to 3448.
The Dow and the S&P 500 have both fallen for the past three sessions as worries have swirled about when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering its massive bond-buying operation. A flood of economic data due out on Wednesday could help shed more light on the situation.
The American private sector added 215,000 jobs in November, according to a report from payroll processor ADP. Economists expected a slimmer gain of 173,000. The data come ahead of the all-important monthly jobs report from the Labor Department due out on Friday.
The U.S. trade gap fell to $40.6 billion in October from $43 billion the month prior, coming in just slightly higher than estimates of $40 billion. The dip comes as exports jumped 1.8%, compared to a 0.4% increase in imports. While the data is a lagging indicator, it figures directly into measures of fourth-quarter GDP.
Then at 10:00 a.m. ET, traders get a reading on sales of newly-constructed homes from the Commerce Department. Sales are forecast to have come in at an annualized 428,000-unit rate for the month of October. Data from September are out as well.
In commodities, U.S. crude oil prices climbed 1% to $96.93 a barrel after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries renewed its 30-million-barrel-a-day production cap.
On the corporate front, the European Union fined eight financial giants, from JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) to Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), a record $2.3 billion for collusion in rigging benchmark interest rate.