3 Min Read
* Futures down: Dow 1 pt, S&P 1.25 pts, Nasdaq 5.25 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Jan 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were flat on Thursday, a day after Federal Reserve minutes showed policymakers thought President-elect Donald Trump's pro-growth policies could prompt faster interest rate hikes.
* Almost every Fed policymaker said Trump's promises of tax cuts, infrastructure spending and deregulation could stoke higher inflation, according to minutes of the Fed's Dec. 13-14 meeting.
* Still, U.S. stocks ended close to record levels on Wednesday, suggesting the market's resilience to the central bank's concerns - a sharp contrast to last year when investors hung on to its every word.
* U.S. stocks have rallied for nearly two months since Trump's victory, taking the Dow tantalizingly close to the historic 20,000 mark.
* The AD private payrolls number is expected to have fallen to 170,000 in December after clocking 216,000 the previous month. The report is closely watched as it precedes the more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday. The ADP data is due at 8:15 a.m. ET (1315 GMT).
* Other data on tap includes the ISM non-manufacturing PMI index and weekly jobless claims.
* Oil prices edged up 0.7 percent after reports that Saudi Arabia had started talks with customers about a reduction in crude sales in February to support an attempt by OPEC to reduce global supply.
* Department store stocks took a beating in premarket trading. Macy's dropped 9.6 percent and Kohl's 15 percent after both cut profit forecasts due to weak holiday sales.
* Alexion Pharma rose nearly 5 percent to $133.40 after the drugmaker said it saw no need to restate its previously issued results, following an investigation related to sales practices of its blood disorder drug Soliris.
* Dow component Travelers dropped nearly 9 percent to $109.65 after Morgan Stanley downgraded the property and casualty insurer's stock to "underweight".
Futures snapshot at 7:00 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were down 1 point, or 0.01 percent, with 14,720 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 1.25 points, or 0.06 percent, with 84,840 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 5.25 points, or 0.11 percent, on volume of 12,390 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)