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Stock Futures Higher Ahead Of Private Sector Job Numbers

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U.S. stock index futures were higher on Wednesday as investors awaited private employment data for July, which will provide a snapshot of the labor market ahead of the critical non-farm payrolls data on Friday.

* Private payrolls processor ADP is expected to report that private firms added fewer jobs in July than in June. The data is expected at 8:15 a.m. ET (1215 GMT).

* U.S. stocks finished lower on Tuesday for a third straight session as investors worried about a rise in interest rates and Apple’s (AAPL.O) shares hit their lowest in over six months.

* Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart told the Wall Street Journal that September may be the right time for the U.S. Federal Reserve to lift interest rates.

* The dollar index .DXY rose to its highest in more than three months against a basket of currencies and U.S. Treasury yields rebounded from two-month lows, a day after Lockhart’s comments.

* The Fed has said it needs to see a sustained economic recovery before it raises interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

* A batch of soft economic data had prompted some investors to argue that the Fed might hold off on raising rates until December.

* Data expected on Wednesday also includes U.S. trade deficit numbers for June at 8:30 a.m. ET.

* Investors will also continue to assess earnings reports from a numbers of companies. Tesla Motors (TSLA.O), GoDaddy (GDDY.N), Fitbit (FIT.N) and CBS (CBS.N) are scheduled to report after the close of market.

* Dow component Walt Disney’s (DIS.N) shares fell 6.5 percent to $113.80 in premarket trading after the media company lowered profit guidance for its cable networks unit and reported quarterly revenue slightly below expectations.

* Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O) jumped 7.5 percent to $27.60 after the videogame maker’s results beat expectations and it raised its 2015 forecast.

Futures snapshot at 6:45 a.m. ET:
* S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 9.75 points, or 0.47 percent, with 72,621 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 19.25 points, or 0.42 percent, on volume of 14,446 contracts.

* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 42 points, or 0.24 percent, with 10,294 contracts changing hands.