LONDON -- Stock index futures as of 7:20 a.m. EDT indicate that the Dow Jones Industrial Average may open down by 0.32% this morning, while the S&P 500 may open 0.34% lower.
European markets fell this morning as a wave of negative data hit the newswires. Stocks with exposure to China weakened on news that China's official service-sector purchasing managers' index fell to a nine-month low of 53.9 in June, down from 54.3 in May. Concerns that the current uprising in Egypt could disrupt oil supplies helped drive WTI crude oil past $100 earlier this morning, while fears that Portugal's prime minister could be forced to call an election following the resignation of two senior ministers helped drive up eurozone government bond yields.
There was some good news: The U.K. Markit service-sector PMI rose to 56.9 in June, its highest level for two years, while service-sector PMIs for Spain and Italy hit 24-month and 21-month highs -- but as of 8:05 a.m. EDT, the FTSE 100 is down 1.62%, the DAX was down 1.67%, and the CAC 40 was down 1.6%.
U.S. markets close at 1 p.m. EDT today in observance of tomorrow's Independence Day holiday. Today's jobs reports are nevertheless bound to attract a lot of interest as a precursor to Friday's nonfarm payrolls. June's ADP employment survey showed that 188,000 new private-sector jobs were added in June. That's up from 135,000 in May and significantly higher than expectations of 160,000 new jobs.
The latest weekly jobless-claims figure dropped by 5,000 to 343,000, Economists had expected 346,000 jobless claims last week.
At 10 a.m. EDT, the ISM nonmanufacturing survey for June is expected to rise to 54.4 from 53.7 in May, reflecting the growing strength of the U.S. recovery.
With only half a day's trading due to take place today, corporate news will be limited.
DaVita HealthCare Partners may also be in the spotlight after closing down 5.9% yesterday on heavy volumes. Mead Johnson Nutrition may also fall further: The company closed down 5.7% yesterday on reports that Chinese authorities are investing Mead and Abbot Laboratories over possible price-fixing allegations relating to infant formula milk.
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