Stocks futures slide ahead of jobs data

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U.S. stock futures were under pressure Thursday as traders awaited the latest updates on the health of the labor market.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 203 points, or 0.59%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were lower by 0.7% and 0.91%, respectively. 

The early selling comes ahead of the latest releases of the ADP National Employment Report and weekly jobless claims figures. Economists expect the ADP report to show the addition of 650,000 jobs and initial claims to fall to a pandemic low of 390,000. 

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AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. was lower after the movie-theater operator said it plans to sell an additional 11.5 million shares. The announcement comes after the stock soared 95% Wednesday despite hedge fund Mudrick Capital flipping the shares it had acquired in an offering the previous day. AMC shares have gained 418% over the past seven trading sessions. 

Other so-called meme stocks, including GameStop Corp., Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and Koss Corp. were sharply lower. 

Elsewhere, activist investor Engine No. 1 secured a third seat on ExxonMobil Corp.’s board of directors on Wednesday. The investment firm has taken aim at the oil giant over concerns about how it plans to combat global warming. 

Meanwhile, Merck & Co. completed the spinoff of Organon & Co., which will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker OGN. 

In earnings, J.M. Smucker Co. reported earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street estimates, boosted by strong demand for at-home food and coffee products, but both figures were below year-ago levels. Full-year guidance was ahead of expectations. 

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil slipped 21 cents to $68.62 per barrel and gold lost $14.80 to $1,895.10 an ounce.   

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Overseas markets were mostly weaker. 

European bourses were lower across the board with France’s CAC declining 0.55%, Germany’s DAX 30 sliding 0.73% and Britain’s FTSE 100 falling 1.03%. 

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.39% while China’s Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.36% and 1.13%, respectively.  

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