Futures Slip Despite Strong Employment Data

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. stock-index futures fell slightly Wednesday despite significantly better-than-expected data on private-sector employment.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:20 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 20 points, or 0.12%, to 16434, S&P 500 futures dipped 1.8 points, or 0.1%, to 1829 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.5 point, or 0.01%, to 3549.

The bulls are back in town. The S&P 500 snapped a three-day losing streak Tuesday, posting solid gains on the back of upbeat economic data.

The American economy was expected to garner Wall Street's attention again on the day with data on the jobs market, and minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting due out.

A report from payroll processor ADP showed 238,000 private-sector jobs were added in December, well above estimates of 200,000. The the data come ahead of the all-important monthly jobs report from the Labor Department, which comes out Friday. Several economists, including those at Goldman Sachs, have warned cold weather that's swept across the country represents a downside risk to these data.

Meanwhile, the Fed minutes could be particularly interesting since they cover the meeting when the central bank made the decision to begin exiting its vast bond-purchasing program and loosen its so-called forward guidance on interest rates.

The minutes will "give us an insight into why the US central bank decided to trim its bond-buying scheme, and we are likely to see low volumes and volatility until then," David Madden, a market analyst at London-based IG Index said in an email.

On the corporate front, Cantor Fitzgerald became the latest brokerage to cut Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) to "sell" from "hold," sending the short-messaging site's shares sinking in pre-market trading. Forest Laboratories (NYSE:FRX) said it would buy privately-held Aptalis for $2.9 billion in cash.

In commodities, U.S. crude oil futures climbed 28 cents, or 0.3%, to $93.95 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.06% to $2.68 a gallon. Gold was little changed at $1,230.

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