Futures sink in light trading; all eyes on jobs

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures fell in light trading volume Wednesday as a private payroll company provided what may be a hint as to what to expect when the Labor Department releases its own employment numbers later this week.

Dow Jones industrial futures slipped 59 points to 15,120. The broader S&P futures lost 4.9 points to 1,626.30. Nasdaq futures fell 9.5 points to 2,965.25.

The payroll company ADP released a monthly jobs report Wednesday that suggested employers hired at a lethargic pace in May, adding 135,000 jobs.

That’s shy of what economists were predicting and it may cool expectations for the crucial U.S. jobs report due Friday.

The Labor Department did report Wednesday that U.S. productivity grew at modest annual rate of 0.5 percent in first quarter.

The government will also release data on factory orders and business activity among U.S. service companies Wednesday.

In corporate news, the Treasury Department is selling another 30 million shares of General Motors this month that were part of a bailout of the automaker during the economic downturn.

In December, Treasury sold 200 million shares of GM back to the company. At the time, Treasury said that it intended to sell its remaining 300 million shares of GM stock by early 2014.

UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s biggest health insurers, upped its dividend payout again, despite funding cuts to a key portion of the health insurer’s business starting next year.

Shares of UnitedHealth struck an all-time high last week and are heading higher before the opening bell.

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