Stock futures flat with
initial claims, home sales data due
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[May 22, 2014]
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S.
stock index futures were little changed on Thursday,
ahead of data on the labor and housing markets, after
the S&P 500 advanced for a third time in four sessions.
Investors awaited weekly initial jobless claims data due out at 8:30
a.m. (1230 GMT) for signs of continuing strengthening in the labor
market. Expectations call for 310,000 claims, up from the 297,000 in
the previous week, which was the lowest in seven years.
Existing home sales data for April is due later at 10:00 a.m. (1400
GMT), and will be monitored for signs of stabilization in the
housing arena. Forecasts are for a rise of 2.2 percent to an annual
rate of 4.68 million, after hitting a 1-1/2 year low in March.
S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 0.25 point and were roughly even with
fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract.
Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures gained 8 points and
Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 2.75 points.
Best Buy Co <BBY.N> fell 5.7 percent to $23.91 in premarket trading
after the electronics retailer reported first-quarter earnings that
topped expectations but revenue fell short of forecasts as domestic
comparable store sales fell 1.3 percent.
Sears Holdings Corp <SHLD.O> posted a bigger loss for the first
quarter as the struggling retailer failed to arrest a fall in sales
despite offering heavy discounts to woo shoppers.
Reynolds American Inc <RAI.N> is in active discussions to buy
Lorillard Inc <LO.N> in a complicated, three-way transaction that
could see British American Tobacco PLC <BATS.L> take a major role to
back a potential merger, according to people familiar with the
Refiner Marathon Petroleum Corp <MPC.N> said it would buy oil and
natural gas producer Hess Corp's <HES.N> retail business for about
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U.S. stocks rebounded Wednesday from a selloff a day earlier, with
the Dow Jones Industrial Average scoring its biggest gain in a
month, after minutes of the Federal Reserve's last meeting showed
central bankers had discussed the eventual tightening of monetary
policy but didn't decide which tools to use.
French stocks underperformed flat equity markets elsewhere in
Europe, as weak economic data weighed on France's benchmark CAC-40
<.FCHI> index. <.EU>
Japanese stocks led a surge in Asian equities to a one-year high,
after an upbeat reading on China's factory sector burnished risk
appetite and blunted some of the more pessimistic views on the
world's second-biggest economy.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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