Data on private employment out in the morning, as well as comments from a trio of Fed speakers, will also be closely watched for any rate hints.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMU6, -0.04% slipped 5 points to 18,439, while those for the S&P 500 index ESU6, -0.01% rose 0.05 point to 2,175.25. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index NQU6, -0.04% fell 0.25 point to 4,775.75.
The muted action comes after similar small moves on Tuesday, when investors weighed comments from Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer about the timing of the next policy move. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.20% closed down 0.2%, while the Dow average DJIA, -0.26% ended off 0.3%.
“While markets start to obsess again about Friday’s jobs report, given Fed vice chair Stanley Fischer’s comments yesterday, today’s ADP employment report will once again be looked at as a bellwether for this number,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, in a note.
“[That’s] despite the fact that there has been no correlation at all between the two reports in the last three months. While the ADP report has been broadly steady between 175k and 181k, between May and July, the Friday NFP report has been all over the map,” he added.
Economic news: The ADP report is due at 8:15 a.m. Eastern Time and forecast to show the private sector added 171,500 people to payrolls in August, according to FactSet.
The data have arguably worked as a precursor for the more closely watched nonfarm-payrolls report out on Friday.
Also due Wednesday are the Chicago purchasing managers index for August, out at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time, and a reading on pending homes sales for July, out at 10 a.m. Eastern.
In Fed news, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans both appeared at an event in Shanghai, China, and showed both sides of the Fed debate over raising interest rates.