NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures fell modestly as investors worked through a better-than-expected private employment report and awaited data from the Federal Reserve later Wednesday afternoon.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 12 points to 16,442 with 35 minutes before the opening bell. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures were down 0.2 points to 1,830 and the Nasdaq futures were up 2.75 points to 3,551.25.
JOBS JOBS JOBS: All eyes are on this week’s jobs data. A private survey shows U.S. businesses added the most jobs in a year in December, powered by a big gain in construction jobs. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 238,000 jobs in December, better than the 200,000 jobs that economists had predicted. The ADP data sets the stage for Friday’s government jobs report. Investors expect the U.S. economy created 190,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate remained steady at 7 percent.
FED MINUTES: Later this afternoon, investors will get the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s mid-December policy meeting. In that meeting, Fed officials voted to start pulling back on its economic stimulus program — a surprise to most investors. Wall Street will be looking for the reasons why the Fed believed it was time to start reducing stimulus.
FORD GAINS: Ford was up 2 percent in premarket trading after CEO Alan Mulally said he would not take the open CEO job at Microsoft. Mulally was considered a top candidate for the position, having led the turnaround for Ford turning the financial crisis.