Futures tick lower ahead of private jobs data

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at record levels, as investors awaited private payrolls data for clues on the health of the labor market and subsequent policy support.

A security camera is seen next to signage outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, New York, U.S., June 28, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The ADP National Employment Report, due at 8:15 a.m. ET, is expected to show hiring by private employers slowed in June.

The Labor Department’s more comprehensive and closely watched employment data for June is due on Friday, and market participants fear a strong reading could force the U.S. Federal Reserve to pare back its ultra-loose monetary policy.

Prospects of a transitory spike in inflation has pushed the benchmark S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to a series of record highs in recent sessions, helped by a comeback in tech-heavy growth stocks.

The S&P growth index which houses mega-cap names Apple Inc, Amazon, Facebook Inc and Microsoft Corp, has jumped nearly 11.9% this quarter, outperforming its value peer and narrowing the gap for the year-to-date performance.

The S&P 500 has climbed about 14.3% in the first half of the year and is set for its second best first-half performance since 1998, with energy, financials, real estate and communication services stocks notching the best performance at the sectoral level.

Graphic: S&P 500’s second best H1 since 1998 –

At 6:54 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 54 points, or 0.16%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.5 points, or 0.11%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 16.75 points, or 0.12%.

Shares of Micron Technology, which is expected to post quarterly results after markets close, rose 1.0% as they headed for their fourth straight monthly decline.

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