* ADP private sector employment short of expectations
* Markit, ISM services data due
* Futures up: Dow 7 pts, S&P 0.5 pts, Nasdaq 3.5 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, March 5 U.S. stocks were set for a
flat open on Wednesday after two days of sharp swings as
investors shrugged off a softer than expected reading on the
labor market and ahead of two reports on the services sector.
* U.S. private employers added 139,000 jobs in February, shy
of economists' expectations calling for a gain of 160,000 jobs,
while January's number was revised downward by 48,000 to 127,000
* Following the most serious confrontation between Russia
and the West over influence in Ukraine and control of Crimea, a
global investing flight to safety on Monday reversed sharply on
Tuesday. Markets were calmer on Wednesday, but volatility was
expected given the fluid situation in Ukraine.
* The S&P 500 closed at a record high Tuesday ahead of the
first face-to-face talks between Russia and the United States on
averting the risk of war in the Crimean peninsula.
* Other data expected on Wednesday includes measures of
services sector growth for February from Markit, at 8:58 a.m.
(1358 GMT), and from ISM, at 10:00 a.m. EST (1500 GMT).
* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 0.5 point and were
about even with fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by
taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to
expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures
rose 7 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 3.5
* Honeywell International rose 0.5 percent to $95.11
in light premarket trade after the diversified manufacturer of
aerospace parts and climate control and security systems
set a target of increasing overall company sales to more than
$50 billion by 2018 as it spends $10 billion on acquisitions and
continues to expand profit margins.
* Canadian Solar Inc slumped 6 percent to $41.05
before the opening bell. The solar panel maker warned of a drop
in current-quarter revenue as about $100 million in sales were
deferred after a severe winter.