Stocks Futures Slip as Data Top Views


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U.S. stock-index futures tilted lower on Wednesday as traders analyzed two better-than-expected economic reports and awaited the conclusion of the Fed meeting.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:37 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 23 points to 15468, S&P 500 futures dipped 2 points to 1683 and Nasdaq 100 futures slumped 0.75 point to 3085.

Wednesday was set to be a busy day for the Street.

A report from payroll processor ADP showed the U.S. private sector tacking on 200,000 jobs in July, topping expectations of an increase of 180,000. The labor market has shown continued signs of recovery, but the process has been stubbornly slow, economists said.

The report comes ahead of the all-important monthly jobs report on Friday.

"Today’s report long with the modest upward revisions provides a bit of optimism heading into Friday," said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 1.7% in the second quarter, coming in well above estimates of 1%.

The Federal Reserve also concludes its two-day policy-setting meeting on the day. A statement is due out at 2:00 p.m. ET. Analysts expect the statement to focus on guidance for when the central bank will begin hiking interest rates. Fed watchers will also be looking for any hints on when the central bank will trim its vast bond-buying operation.

Elsewhere, IBM (NYSE:IBM) said the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating how it calculates cloud computing revenue. Big Blue said it was cooperating with the SEC in the matter. Bill Ackman's Pershing Square revealed it took a 9.8% stake in Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) worth $2.2 billion.

In commodities, oil rose 26 cents, or 0.25%, to $103.35 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline slumped 0.79% to $2.995 a gallon. In metals, gold advanced $4.20, or 0.32%, to $1,329 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.24% to 2753, the English FTSE 100 rose 0.65% to 6613 and the German DAX dipped 0.37% to 8240.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 sold off by 1.5% to 13668 and the Chinese Hang Seng slipped 0.32% to 21884.

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