(Updates prices, adds comment)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Oct 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open little changed on Wednesday, following a selloff that took the S&P 500 to its lowest level in nearly two months, as concerns lingered over how a strong dollar and weak global growth may impact corporate earnings.
China’s services sector growth weakened slightly in September as new business cooled in the world’s second-largest economy. That follows weak industrial data out of Germany, the euro zone’s growth engine.
Weakness in other economies and the expectation that interest rates will begin to rise in the United States as other major central banks continue to ease have boosted the U.S. currency. The dollar index is on track to post its first weekly loss in the last 13.
“Investors are concerned the strong dollar and the weakness in the euro zone will adversely affect third quarter earnings and more importantly guidance for the fourth quarter,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.
He said the Ebola epidemic and the advance of Islamic State in Syria also kept investors on edge.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were up less than a point and fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract, indicated a flat open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures fell 12 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 1 point.
Minutes from the most recent meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve are due at 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT). With the Fed set to complete rolling back its massive monthly bond-buying purchases this month, investors will be looking for clues on how soon it plans to lift interest rates.
Third-quarter corporate earnings were starting to trickle in. Warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp’s profit topped analysts’ estimates for the first time in five quarters and its shares gained 2.2 percent in premarket trading.
Monsanto posted a loss on an ongoing basis of 27 cents a share, compared with the average analyst estimate of 24 cents a share and its shares fell 0.8 percent.
Chimerix Inc was up 5 percent as an experimental oral antiviral drug improved the survival rate of patients with a certain type of respiratory infection, according to preliminary data. The drug was used earlier this week to treat the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States.
Symantec Corp added 4.8 percent in early trading a day after Bloomberg cited sources as saying the company was in advanced talks to split its business into two.
Editing by Bernadette Baum