By Shashank Nayar
(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures slipped on Thursday as focus turned to service sector surveys and labor market reports for cues on the trajectory of inflation, while a rally in so-called “meme stocks” continued, with BlackBerry (NYSE:) and AMC jumping over 17%.
The U.S. economy added fewer people in the private sector in May, an ADP national employment report before the bell is expected to show, setting up for the closely watched official payrolls report on Friday.
Separately, the Labor Department data is likely to indicate the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment fell below 400,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic. ISM’s survey on the service sector, which accounts for two-thirds of the U.S. economy, will be released after markets open.
Concerns over a labor shortage fueling inflationary pressures have raised fears that the Federal Reserve would pare back its crisis support sooner than expected, despite central bank officials’ reassurances to the contrary.
The Fed on Wednesday said it would begin to unwind the corporate bond holdings it acquired last year to calm credit markets, adding that it was unrelated to its monetary policy.
The blue-chip Dow has edged higher in the past five session as investors piled into stocks likely to benefit from an economic reopening.
At 6:52 a.m. ET, were down 148 points, or 0.43%, were down 20.25 points, or 0.48%, and were down 74.75 points, or 0.55%.
FireEye (NASDAQ:) Inc dropped 4.8% after the cybersecurity firm said it would sell its products business, including the FireEye name, to a consortium led by private equity firm Symphony Technology Group for $1.2 billion in cash.
Shares of AMC Entertainment (NYSE:) and BlackBerry Ltd jumped 19.3% and 22.1%, extending a red-hot rally driven by small-time investors on online trading platforms.
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