US stock futures turn mixed, European markets up

Oct 5 2011 - 7:22am

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(RICHARD DREW/The Associated Press) In this Oct. 4, 2011 photo, traders Stephen Guilfoyle, left, and Richard Deviccaro, work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks in Europe recouped some recent losses on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, on hopes that European policymakers were thrashing out a plan to shore up the banking sector, which has been damaged by fears of a Greek debt default.
(RICHARD DREW/The Associated Press) In this Oct. 4, 2011 photo, traders Stephen Guilfoyle, left, and Richard Deviccaro, work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks in Europe recouped some recent losses on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, on hopes that European policymakers were thrashing out a plan to shore up the banking sector, which has been damaged by fears of a Greek debt default.

NEW YORK -- U.S. stock futures were little changed a half hour before the market opened Wednesday.

Stocks had surged in the last hour of trading Tuesday following reports that European officials are exploring a coordinated response to propping up the region's struggling banks. That could help limit the damage to the financial system should the Greek government default on its bonds, as many investors are now expecting. Benchmark indexes in France, Spain and Germany rose more than 2 percent Wednesday.

Thirty minutes before the opening bell, Dow futures were flat at 10,683. S&P futures gained 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,115. Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 2, or 0.1 percent, to 2,111.

In the U.S., payroll processor ADP said that private companies added 91,000 jobs in September. That was a slight gain from the 89,000 jobs added in August.

ADP's figures do not always predict what the government's broad employment report, which will be released Friday, will show but can often set traders' expectations. Economists expect that Friday's report will show that unemployment remained at 9.1 percent in September.

The Institute of Supply Management will release its reading of the service sector in September at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Wall Street economists expect that the sector, which employs 90 percent of the work force, expanded at a slower pace in September than the month before.

In corporate news, seed company Monsanto rose 1.4 percent in premarket trading after the company said its fourth-quarter results beat Wall Street's expectations. The company lost 21 cents per share. Analysts had expected a loss of 27 cents per share.

Wholesale club operator Costco Wholesale Corp. gained 0.1 percent in premarket trading after it barely missed Wall Street's expectations. The company said that it will raise its annual membership fees starting in November.

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