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US STOCKS-Futures dip ahead of jobs data, Fed minutes

Wednesday, 8 Jan 2014 | 7:50 AM ET

* Micron shares jump after strong earnings

* Forest Labs to buy Aptalis, shares rise

* Futures off: Dow 14 pts, S&P 2 pts, Nasdaq 1 pt

NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 posted its largest gain in three weeks and ahead of jobs data from the private sector.

* The ADP private jobs report is due at 8:15 a.m. EST (1315 GMT) and traders will peruse it for clues on the economy's strength ahead of a wider-reaching government report Friday.

* Minutes of the Federal Reserve's December meeting, at which the U.S. central bank announced its decision to trim its stimulative monthly bond purchases, are out later on Wednesday. Market participants will scan it for signs of a clear Fed commitment to keeping rates low for a long time.

* S&P 500 futures fell 2 points and were below 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 fell 14 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 1 point.

* Micron Technology shares jumped 9 percent in premarket trading a day after it reported a much higher-than-expected quarterly profit.

* Microsoft is closer to naming a new chief executive, according to a source familiar with the board's thinking, but it lost a front-runner candidate Tuesday when Ford's chief, Alan Mulally, said he would not be going to the software giant. Microsoft shares edged 0.8 percent lower in trading before the opening bell.

* A deadly blast of Arctic air shattered decades-old temperature records as it enveloped the eastern United States on Tuesday, snarling air, road and rail travel, driving energy prices higher and overwhelming shelters for homeless people. Economic activity is also expected to be hurt by its impact on retail activity.

* Forest Laboratories agreed to buy privately held specialty pharmaceutical company Aptalis Holdings Inc for about $2.9 billion. Forest Labs shares rose 7.2 percent in light premarket trading.

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