U.S. stock indexes were set for a mixed open on Thursday as shares of Microsoft fell after the company lowered its profit forecast, offsetting relief from a pullback in oil prices that eased worries about rising inflation.
Microsoft fell 2.3% in premarket trading after the company cut its fourth-quarter forecast for profit and revenue, citing a hit from unfavorable currency movements.
The ADP National Employment report showed private payrolls rose by 128,000 jobs last month, far below estimates of 300,000 jobs, and a decline from the downwardly revised 202,000 in April.
A separate reading showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 200,000 for the week ended May 28. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 210,000 applications.
All eyes will be on the nonfarm payrolls report on Friday, with economists expecting the economy to have added 325,000 jobs last month.
"If we get a weak number (tomorrow) that is close to this, that means maybe the tight labor market is beginning to show cracks and that will be a relief for the Federal Reserve," Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York, said.
"This market has discounted a mild recession, lower corporate earnings and an aggressive Fed that is likely to raise at least another 150 basis points within the next three meetings."
Prices of global benchmark Brent crude were down more than 2% ahead of a meeting of key producers later in the day, amid speculation that Saudi Arabia may boost production. Brent crude crossed $120 a barrel earlier this week on the prospect of a European Union ban on Russia supplies.
Fears around the impact of interest rate hikes, the Ukraine conflict, supply chain snarls and higher Treasury yields have pressured stock markets recently, with the benchmark S&P 500 index and the tech-heavy Nasdaq both on course for a weekly decline of more than 1%.
Wall Street's three major indexes closed lower in the previous session as investors bet that the latest economic data would do nothing to push the Fed off track from its aggressive cycle of rate hikes.
At 9:10 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 13 points, or 0.04%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 3 points, or 0.07%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 36 points, or 0.29%.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co fell 4.3% after the IT and hardware firm missed analysts' estimates for quarterly results and released a disappointing full-year profit forecast due to currency headwinds and its exit from Russia.
Chewy Inc surged 16.6% after the online pet supplies retailer beat first-quarter sales estimates.
(Reporting by Anisha Sircar and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Shounak Dasgupta)