By Devik Jain
(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Wednesday, a day after the 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.
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 (NASDAQ:), Amazon (NASDAQ:), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:) and Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:), 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 – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/dgkvlrdjwvb/Pasted%20image%201625046287573.png
At 6:54 a.m. ET, were down 54 points, or 0.16%, were down 4.5 points, or 0.11%, and were down 16.75 points, or 0.12%.
Shares of Micron Technology (NASDAQ:), 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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