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Inside the Market

Before the bell: Copper takes dive, stock futures steady

U.S. and Canadian stock futures are little changed this morning, as market players await the latest U.S. trade figures later today and the Federal Reserve's beige book. The uncertainty over a possible U.S.-led military strike against Syria is keeping traders on the defensive.

The document is the central bank's latest snapshot on the economy, and will grab the spotlight at least for a while today even though it's unlikely to shed much fresh light on when the tapering of the Fed's bond-buying program will begin. Market players are still largely split on whether the tapering will begin this month, or later this year. This Friday's nonfarm payrolls report will be key in finding an answer.