By Peter Nurse
Investing.com — U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally lower Wednesday, consolidating from record levels with investors warily awaiting private sector hiring data.
Wednesday is the last day of the second quarter and final day of the first half of 2021. The broad-based S&P 500 is up 14% so far this year, while the Nasdaq Composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 12% each.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both closed Tuesday at record highs.
Investors have bought into the idea of a strong economic recovery from the pandemic, largely shrugging off high inflation readings, with the Federal Reserve looking for more progress in the U.S. labor market before tightening monetary policy.
The ADP National Employment Report, due at 8:15 AM ET (1215 GMT), is expected to show the addition of 600,000 private sector jobs, a slowdown from 978,000 jobs recorded last month.
Weekly mortgage applications and pending home sales data are also due to be published on Wednesday.
In corporate news, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock pushed higher premarket, continuing the positive tone from the previous session after the drugmaker announced its Covid-19 vaccine showed promise against the delta variant in a lab study.
Earnings are also due from the likes of chip maker Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), alcohol and food retailers Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) and General Mills (NYSE:GIS), as well as meme favorite Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY).
Crude oil prices rose Wednesday, boosted by uncertainty over the extent to which top producers will agree to increase supply to the market later this week.
Ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, delayed preliminary talks by one day to allow more time to resolve differences over production policy.
The group is widely expected to announce an increase in output for August, but the surge in Covid cases caused by the virulent delta variant is obviously causing differences in opinion over whether to allow higher production or to continue with the current cautious approach.
Adding to the positive tone, the American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies fell 8.15 million barrels last week, which would be the largest inventory decline since January if confirmed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration later in the session.
U.S. Futures Lower; ADP Payrolls Data Due
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