U.S. stock futures pointed to a mostly flat start for Wall Street following another record for the S&P 500, as investors awaited private-sector payrolls and a report on the services sector.

What are major indexes doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures

slipped 43 points to 34,956;

S&P 500 futures

slipped 4.1 points to 4,411.25;

Nasdaq-100 futures

rose 5.75 points to 15,051.

On Tuesday, the Dow industrials

climbed 278.24 points, or 0.8%, to 35,116.40, the S&P 500

rose 35.99 points, or 0.8%, to a record close of 4,423.15 and the Nasdaq Composite

gained 80.23 points, or 0.6%, to 14,761.29.

What’s driving the market?

Investors continue to weigh up concerns over the fast-spreading delta variant that has swept across the globe, and is now compelling many U.S. companies to require proof of vaccination as several parts of the country reinstate indoor mask rules. Some are also worried that a wave of delta infections could impact economic recoveries.

Fresh data for Wednesday comes via the July ADP private-sector payrolls employment survey due at 8:15 a.m. Eastern, followed by the Institute for Supply Management services index at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The jobs update comes ahead of Friday’s jobs-market report.

The ADP report is seen as key to gauging how fast the labor market is working toward the Federal Reserve’s policy goal of “substantial” progress that could trigger a tapering of its bond-buying program, said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote, in a note to clients.  

ADP payrolls are expected to rise 700,000, but provided the numbers comes in above 500,000-600,000, “investors should walk confident into Friday’s NFP data, the analyst said. “A read below 500,000 should throw the mood off the cliff, as there is not much to awaken the Fed doves with inflation hovering above the 5% mark.”

Fresh worries have also centered on China, which is testing all 11 million people in the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the original outbreak a year and a half ago. A cluster of cases has also spread to Beijing, and the country has been imposing a wave of travel restrictions.

Asian stocks saw a largely positive session, with tech stocks rebounding in Hong Kong after a selloff on Tuesday linked to concerns over potential more regulatory scrutiny, this time on gaming stocks.

Earnings news will continue to trickle in on Wednesday, from General Motors

and Kraft Heinz
followed by Etsy

and Electronic Arts

after the close.

Which companies are in focus?


shares slid 68% ahead of the open after the synthetic biology company reported troubles for its key product and said its chief executive would exit. The company made its public debut in April.

Activision Blizzard

shares climbed 5% after the videogames maker’s results topped Wall Street forecasts and executives pledged a “zero-tolerance harassment policy,” amid staff allegations of a sexist work environment.

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