Futures for U.S. markets were lower late Wednesday as investors move into a wait-and-see mode for Friday's jobs report after an unexpectedly indifferent announcement from the Federal Reserve.
The S&P 500 slid 0.19%, Nasdaq 0.16% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average 0.28% at 9:02 p.m. EST.
The Fed on Wednesday didn't change its goal of several rate rises this year but was less hawkish on the economy than investors had expected. Traders are now looking for more than the forecast 175,000 new jobs from Friday's report and may take some guidance from the ongoing earnings season Thursday--online retail giant Amazon(AMZN) - Get Report is just one of many companies reporting.
Investors still found enough reason to bid markets higher Wednesday with the S&P gaining 0.03%, Nasdaq 0.5% and the Dow 0.14%. European shares closed higher earlier in the day as investors there cheered positive earnings news. Germany's Dax gained 1.08%, the FTSE in London 0.12% and the Cac in Paris 0.96%.
Asia has meanwhile started Thursday mixed with the Nikkei off 0.41% in Japan and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong 0.2% at 9:10 p.m. EST. At the same time, the ASX in Australia added 0.05% while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.19%.
In oil, a future for a barrel of industry standard Brent crude delivered in April slipped 0.35%, to $56.60, while a future for a barrel of West Texas crude delivered next month slid 0.5%, to $53.61 at 9:13 p.m. EST.
The dollar index, which uses other currencies as a yardstick to the greenback, languished below the 100 mark for a second day, slipping 0.11%, to 9,962 at 9:19 p.m.
In after-hours trade, Shutterfly(SFLY) - Get Report shares plummeted 18%, to $42.45, after the picture-processing company said poor earnings would lead to broad layoffs and the closure of two offices.
Redwood City, Calif.-based Shutterfly said it would fire 13% of its workforce, or 250 employees, and shutter its Santa Clara, Calif., and New York offices after net income in the fourth quarter fell nearly 31%, to $91 million, or $2.63 per share. It earned $131.1 million in the same period a year earlier. However, revenue gained 2.4% in the final three months of 2016 to $561.2 million.
The company now expects a loss a per-share loss of between 95 cents and $1 for the current quarter, which is wider than Wall Street had expected.
Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, has no positions in the stocks mentioned.