U.S. stock index futures indicated a flat open on Wednesday as investors looked ahead to the ADP’s private sector payroll report.
The report – due at 8:15 a.m. ET – is seen as a kind of warm-up to government employment figures with August’s nonfarm numbers expected this Friday. The data have taken on greater importance since several Federal Reserve members opened the door to hiking interest rates in September at the Jackson Hole symposium last week.
Economists expect ADP to report 175,000 private sector payrolls were added in August. ADP payrolls totaled 179,000 last month, while the government report was 255,000. Economists expect to see 180,000 jobs in the government report Friday.
Investors will also receive pending home sales data at 10:00 a.m. ET and a Chicago PMI Index at 9:45 a.m. ET. Brown-Forman and Salesforce.com will also release new earnings reports on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks closed lower with utilities falling 1 percent, as investors analyzed strong consumer data while keeping an eye on the Federal Reserve ahead of Friday’s jobs report.
Sentiment was weak in Europe and Asia on the last trading day of the month. Japanese shares gained on the back of a weaker yen on Wednesday, but traders were mainly focusing on the key August U.S. nonfarm payroll data due Friday.