U.S. stocks were headed for a lower open Wednesday, as investors digested another interest rate hike in China, and remained on edge ahead of key jobs data due later in the week.
China's central bank lifted interest rates Wednesday for the fifth time since October in an effort to combat inflation. The People's Bank of China said Tuesday that it will raise its one-year lending rate by a quarter percentage point to 6.56%.
China's incremental tightening has sparked fears that the government could squelch growth too much, causing the economy to crash land.
Economists are expecting the report to show 120,000 jobs added to payrolls. Typically, the economy needs to add about 150,000 just to keep pace with population growth.
U.S. stocks ended little changed Tuesday, as investors took a step back after last week's stellar gains and remain wary about Europe's financial future. The Dow and S&P snapped a five-day winning streak.
Moody's Investors Service downgraded the government debt of Portugal on Tuesday, saying it's another European nation that could require a bailout.
Economy: The number of planned job cuts rose 11.6% in June to 41,432 from May's 37,135, according to outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
The Institute for Supply Management will put out its June services index after trading begins. Economists are looking for the ISM services index to fall to 54, from 54.6 in May -- a level which would still indicate expansion in the sector.
Oil for August delivery slipped 75 cents to $96.13 a barrel.
Gold futures for August delivery dropped $1.60 to $1,511.10 an ounce.
Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield down to 3.1% from 3.14% late Tuesday.
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