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U.S. labor costs rose marginally in the third quarter, pointing to tame wage inflation that should allow the Federal Reserve to maintain its bond-buying program to stimulate the economy. The Employment Cost Index, the broadest measure of labor costs, increased 0.4 percent after advancing 0.5 percent in the second quarter, the Labor Department said on Tuesday. In the 12 months through September, compensation costs rose 1.9 percent for a fifth straight quarter. During periods of strong economic growth, the U.S. central bank closely monitors the index for signs of wage inflation. U.S. stock index futures edged lower on Tuesday after the Dow and S&P 500 hit record highs the previous session, with a few earnings reports expected to dominate trading amid a lack of broad market catalysts. Major indexes continue to face resistance at key levels after the Dow traded above 16,000 and the S&P topped 1,800, levels that both were unable to hold at Monday's close. Samsung Electronics said on Tuesday its Galaxy Gear has become the world's most popular smartwatch with sales reaching 800,000 since its debut two months ago, defying some market concerns the accessory would fail due to a lack of compelling features. The South Korean firm said Gear sales have been better than its own expectations and it would expand sales promotions for the wearable device for the crucial year-end holiday sales. Priced at around $300, the Gear works as an accessory to its market leading Galaxy smartphone, with a small OLED screen offering basic functions like photos, hands-free calls and message notifications.

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