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The Journal Gazette

  • In this Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, photo, specialist James Sciulli works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. World stock markets put in a patchy performance Wednesday Dec. 4, 2013, with Japan suffering a sharp fall, as investors continued to worry the U.S. Federal Reserve will soon start reducing its monetary stimulus. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Wednesday, December 04, 2013 9:02 am

Futures slip despite strong employment report

The Associated Press

Stock futures slid for the third straight day despite a strong employment report on hiring in the private sector and a narrowing U.S. trade deficit.

Trading volume was light Wednesday, as it has been all week, ahead of the big employment report from the Labor Department that is due Friday.

Dow Jones industrial futures fell 22 points to 15,869. S&P futures lost 4.7 points to 1,786.70. Nasdaq futures fell 6.75 points to 3,469.

A gloom has been cast over the markets this week by weak retail sales, which imply that Americans are still unsure about economic stability. Though unemployment is falling, it remains high. Home sales and prices have also slowed in what has been an upward climb this year.

American exports rose to an all-time high, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday, thanks to spiking oil sales. The trade gap narrowed to $40.6 billion in October, 5.4 percent lower than the previous month.

There is a lot more economic data due Wednesday.

The U.S. reports on new home sales for October.

Economists expect sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 435,000, up from 421,000 in August. The Commerce Department will also report numbers from September, which had been delayed due to the government shutdown.

That's still well short of the 700,000 sales that would indicate a healthy market.

The Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for October. The sector employs 90 percent of all Americans. Economists expect there was a slight downturn in growth, though the sector has been recovering throughout the year. The index hit an eight-year high in August.

The Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book later in the day, its anecdotal snapshot of business conditions in America.