US STOCKS-Futures hold Yellen gains, Cisco drags Nasdaq

Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:07am EST

* Yellen heads to Senate for banking committee hearing

* Cisco shares tumble after revenue warning

* Walmart, Kohl's shares fall after results

* Futures: Dow up 7 pts, S&P up 3 pts, Nasdaq down 8 pts

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Nov 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Thursday, holding on to gains from late in the previous session after the release of remarks from Federal Reserve chair nominee, Janet Yellen, while a slide in Cisco shares weighed on Nasdaq futures.

Cisco Systems shares tumbled 12 percent in premarket trading after it warned its revenue would dive as much as 10 percent this quarter and keep contracting until after the middle of 2014, due to a backlash against U.S. government spying in emerging markets like China.

The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing at 10:00 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) on the nomination of the Fed's current vice chair, Janet Yellen, to head the U.S. central bank. Yellen's remarks, released Wednesday, were perceived by the market as dovish and supportive of the policies that have helped the S&P 500 rally 24.9 percent so far this year.

"The focus is on Yellen's testimony and whether she will be as dovish in the Q&A as she was in her written comments," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.

S&P 500 futures rose 3 points and were above 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 futures edged up 7 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 8 points.

The U.S. Labor Department releases first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the week ended Nov. 9 at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 330,000 new filings compared with 336,000 in the previous week.

At the same time, the Labor Department releases its preliminary productivity and unit labor costs for the third quarter.

Wal-Mart shares fell 1 percent in premarket trading after the world's largest retailer reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales, hurt by an unexpected decline in U.S. comparable sales and a competitive retail environment.

Kohl's Corp shares dropped 9 percent in premarket trading after the department store chain reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter results as sales at stores open for more than a year fell.

The euro hit a session low against the U.S. dollar after data showed the euro zone economy grew at a slower than expected 0.1 percent rate in the third quarter, which could hurt appetite for equities.

Fairholme Capital Management proposed to buy the insurance businesses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a move that seeks to resolve the uncertain future of the mortgage financiers.

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