By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch

Social-media giant warns of slower growth in ad revenue

The main U.S. stock benchmarks were on track to open little changed on Thursday, but Facebook Inc. was dropping in premarket action as shareholders booed its latest revenue forecast.

Investors are waiting for fresh figures due this morning for jobless claims, productivity, the services sector and factory orders.

S&P 500 futures inched down by 1.30 points, or 0.1%, to 2,091, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures edged up by 8 points, or less than 0.1%, to 17,889.

Nasdaq-100 futures made a bigger move, falling 15.50 points, or 0.3%, to 4,701.25. The tech-heavy gauge was weighed down by the fall for Facebook, one of its largest components.

Shares in Facebook(FB) traded 6% lower in premarket action after the social-media giant warned (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/facebook-needs-its-big-bets-to-pay-off-soon-after-spooking-investors-2016-11-02) late Wednesday that growth rates for its advertising revenue will "come down meaningfully."

"Markets remain very much focused on the outcome of next week's U.S. presidential election," said Tony Cross, market analyst for TopTradr, in a note.

"Donald Trump's turnaround in the opinion polls is being taken seriously by financial markets, with short USD positions building and a breakdown in U.S. equity markets being observed, too."

"Short USD positions" refers to bets against the dollar, and a key index for the buck traded down modestly early Thursday, stretching its weekly decline to 1.1%.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 closed lower for the seventh session in a row, notching its longest losing streak in five years (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-under-pressure-as-tighter-election-race-rattles-investors-2016-11-02), while the Dow shed 0.4%. The drops came as the Federal Reserve gave a subtle hint that it's inching closer to a December interest-rate hike (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-doesnt-need-to-see-much-more-evidence-before-raising-interest-rates-2016-11-02).

See: 5 reasons stocks will rally after the presidential election (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/five-reasons-stocks-will-rally-after-the-us-presidential-election-2016-11-03)

Individual movers: Fitness trackers seller Fitbit Inc.(FIT) and games maker Zynga Inc.(ZNGA) were both on track for down days, after falling late Wednesday in the wake of their quarterly reports. Fitbit's results and outlook came in below Wall Street's expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/flex2-manufacturing-issues-will-hurt-fitbits-holiday-season-2016-11-02), and Zynga also missed on both counts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zynga-posts-loss-as-number-of-active-users-dips-2016-11-02).

On the upside, Whole Foods Market Inc.(WFM) gained 2% in premarket action after the grocery chain late Wednesday announced better-than-expected profit (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/whole-foods-shares-rise-after-earnings-beat-dividend-hike-2016-11-02), a dividend hike and the elimination of its dual-CEO structure (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/john-mackey-to-be-sole-ceo-of-whole-foods-market-2016-11-02), leaving co-founder John Mackey as sole boss.

Natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp.(CHK) and cosmetics seller Avon Products Inc.(AVP) were among the companies expected to post earnings before the open.

Other markets: Oil futures and European stocks traded modestly higher, while Asian markets closed mixed. Gold futures dropped, paring their gain for the week.

Economic news:A report on weekly jobless claims is slated to hit at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with economists polled by MarketWatch forecasting 255,000 claims.

At that same time, a release is expected on third-quarter productivity and labor costs. Economists anticipate growth of 2.5% and 0.8%, respectively.

At 9:45 a.m. Eastern, investors are due to get Markit's October figure for its services purchasing managers' index.

Reports on factory orders and the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index are scheduled to arrive at 10 a.m. Eastern. Economists predict a 0.2% rise in factory orders for September, as well as an October reading of 56.0% for the ISM gauge.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 03, 2016 05:59 ET (09:59 GMT)

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