* ADP private payrolls just short of expectations
* U.S. services sector readings expected after the open bell
* Major index futures flat, volume low (Updates prices, adds ADP data)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Dec 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed in low volume on Wednesday, indicating a flat open on Wall street, ahead of data on the services sector and as markets focus on the upcoming meeting at the European Central Bank.
Futures reacted mutedly to data showing the U.S. private sector created 208,000 jobs last month, fewer than expected.
Earlier data showed the euro zone economy may face another contraction after business activity grew less than expected in November despite heavy discounting, although Asian readings were more upbeat. The euro was trading at its lowest against the U.S. dollar in more than two years.
Momentum is building for the ECB to launch a program of sovereign-bond buying to boost the bloc’s struggling economy with most signs pointing to March for a decision. The ECB meets on Thursday.
“I don’t know if they’re going to take a huge step but they are moving in that direction,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment officer at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis.
Readings from Markit and ISM on the health of the U.S. services sector are due shortly after the market open on Wall Street.
“ISM could have some influence,” Paulsen said, but if it lands not far from expectations the market will be “positioning for (the payrolls data) Friday, because that’s going to set a trend for the rest of the month.”
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 rose 1 point and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 3 points.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks rose as energy stocks led the S&P 500 and Dow, while Biogen’s rally on news about an experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease topped gains at the Nasdaq. The Dow closed at a record high.
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski