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Futures point to lower open on Ebola concerns

01 October 2014, 13:56

New York - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wednesday, as caution arose following the first diagnosis of a patient in the United States with Ebola.

While drug companies with Ebola treatments in their pipelines rallied in heavy trading, the news gave investors a reason to sell, with major indexes near record levels. Airline shares were lower on concerns the disease could curb travel.

In a positive read on the economy, a report early Wednesday showed private employers added 213,000 jobs in September, more than expected, though August's number was revised down by 2,000 jobs. The stronger-than-expected September data could raise expectations for the closely watched non-farm payroll report, which will be released on Friday.

Also Read: US tracks family, contacts of Ebola patient

The S&P 500 has largely traded in a range for the past six weeks, finding resistance at its record close and support at its 50-day moving average. While the benchmark index closed slightly below that average on Tuesday, it hasn't closed beneath it for two consecutive sessions since August. At current levels, the S&P is almost 2 percent from its record close.

After the market opens, reports on construction spending and manufacturing will be released. Construction spending is seen up 0.5 percent in August, while the Institute for Supply Management's read on September manufacturing is expected to dip to 58.5 from 59.

Futures snapshot at 0837 EDT:

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 5.75 points, or 0.29 percent, with 197,682 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 12.75 points, or 0.32 percent, in volume of 36,142 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were down 33 points, or 0.19 percent, with 28,375 contracts changing hands.

- Reuters

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