US STOCKS-Tepid data, tech weakness to weigh on Wall St

* 158,000 private jobs added in June vs. est. 185,000 -ADP

* Weekly jobless claims rise for third straight week

* Tesla slips after Model S fails to ace some tests

* Futures down: Dow 61 pts, S&P 8.5 pts, Nasdaq 53.25 pts
(Adds details, comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

July 6 (Reuters) – Wall Street looked set to open lower on
Thursday after data showed lower-than-expected hiring in the
private sector and as technology shares fell.

The ADP National Employment Report showed private employers
added 158,000 jobs in June, below the estimated addition of
185,000.

The report by payrolls processor ADP acts as a precursor to
monthly nonfarm payrolls data, due on Friday, that includes
hiring in both the public and private sectors.

Another set of data showed weekly jobless claims rose for
the third straight week, with claims climbing to 248,000, above
the 243,000 expected.

“The ADP number has some correlation to the U.S. NFP
(nonfarm payrolls) and investors always adjust their
expectations on the back of this,” said Naeem Aslam, chief
market analyst at Think Markets UK Ltd.

“But overall we think that the number is not that bad
because this is the only second time that we have seen a miss.”

Technology shares have come under pressure in recent weeks
after their strong run this year. The S&P tech sector is up
nearly 17 percent for the year.

Shares of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon
and Alphabet were all down about 0.8 percent
in premarket trading.

Dow e-minis were down 61 points, or 0.28 percent,
with 29,274 contracts changing hands at 8:22 a.m. ET (1222 GMT).

S&P 500 e-minis were down 8.5 points, or 0.35
percent, with 180,329 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 53.25 points, or 0.94
percent, on volume of 38,850 contracts.

Investors are also parsing minutes from the Federal
Reserve’s last meeting that showed policymakers were
increasingly split on the outlook for inflation and how it might
affect the future pace of interest rate hikes.

The Fed’s preferred measure of underlying inflation slipped
to 1.4 percent in May and has run below the 2 percent target for
more than five years now.

The minutes revealed a few officials viewed equity prices as
high when compared to standard valuation measures, even though
earnings growth has been robust.

The S&P 500 has been trading at about 18 times earnings
estimates for the next 12 months, compared with the long-term
average of 15 times.

Tesla fell 3 percent after the luxury electric
carmaker’s Model S did not get the top score in certain tests by
the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

General Electric slipped 1.7 percent after the
European Commission accused the company of providing misleading
information during a merger deal.

Costco rose 1.9 percent after the retailer reported
a rise in its June sales number.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil
D’Silva)

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