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Stock Futures Trade Sideways; BlackBerry Shares Advance

Tickers in this article: BBRY KDN QCOM SFD ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were little changed Thursday as investors paused for a barrage of economic data and to gather more clues into whether the Federal Reserve's ultra-loose monetary policy has been as effective in bolstering the economy as it has the stock markets.

The European Central Bank and Bank of England will provide their latest monetary policy announcements Thursday.

Investors also kept an eye on the Group of 20 summit of major economies in Russia, where talks about the potential use of force against Syria was expected to be a primary focus.

Futures for the S&P 500 were off 1.75 points, or 0.03 points below fair value, to 1,651.75. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 20 points, or 13.87 points below fair value, to 14,904. Futures for the Nasdaq were behind by 1 point, or 3.11 points above fair value, to 3,127.25.

The S&P 500 posted its biggest advance in two weeks Wednesday, bolstered by the Fed which said summer spending on homes and automobiles helped provide "modest to moderate" growth, a trend that has also helped sustain this year's rally in equities.

Payroll processor Automatic Data Processing is expected to report at 8:15 a.m. EDT a 180,000 rise in private payroll growth for August after a 200,000 increase in July.

At 8:30 a.m., the Labor Department is predicted to report that initial jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 31 fell to 330,000 from 331,000 the prior week. The report is expected to show that continuing claims for the week ended Aug. 24 slipped to 2.98 million from 2.989 million the preceding week.

An August jobs cut report from executive outplacement services provider Challenger Gray & Christmas will be published Thursday at 7:30 a.m.

These labor market reports will be out ahead of Friday's August nonfarm payrolls report.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecast to say that nonfarm labor productivity rose 1.5% in the second quarter after the prior estimate of an increase of 0.9%. Unit labor costs are expected to have risen 0.8% after an estimated 1.4% increase. These data will be out at 8:30 a.m.

The Census Bureau is expected to report at 10 a.m. that factory orders fell 3.3% in July after rising 1.5% in June. At the same time, the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing Index is expected to have slipped to 55 in August from 56 in July.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota is expected to answer questions at an economic indicator breakfast event in La Crosse, Wisconsin that begins at 9 a.m.

In corporate news, BlackBerry was rising 2.33% to $11 in premarket trading. The company intends to run a fast auction process that could be wrapped up by November, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.