US STOCKS-Futures tick up ahead of jobless claims data

Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:31am EDT

* Cisco shares down in premarket after results, outlook

* Weak European economic data viewed as cautious sign

* Jobless claims expected to rise in latest week

* Futures up: Dow 24 pts, S&P 3 pts, Nasdaq 5.75 pts

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Aug 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Thursday, with investors reluctant to make big bets following a sharp rally in the previous session and amid signs of weak conditions in Europe.

* Trading is likely to continue being driven by overseas issues, with the latest data out of Europe showing the euro zone's economy ground to a halt in the second quarter. Investors are also monitoring ongoing violence in Iraq, and the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

* Wal-Mart Stores Inc reported flat same-store sales for the second-quarter and cut its full-year profit outlook. After falling more than 1 percent in premarket trading, shares of the Dow component rose slightly.

* Cisco Systems Inc fell 1.3 percent to $24.87 in premarket trading. The company gave a tepid outlook a day earlier for its current quarter and announced massive job cuts even as the Dow component's revenue beat expectations.

* Wal-Mart and Cisco are the latest major names to issue cautious outlooks. On Wednesday, Macy's Inc cut its full-year same-store sales outlook while Deere & Co cut its profit view.

* S&P 500 e-mini 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 e-mini futures rose 24 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 5.75 points.

* Wall Street rallied on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average returning to positive territory for the year. The S&P 500 is about 2.1 percent off a late-July record close.

* In upcoming U.S. economic data, weekly jobless claims are seen rising by 6,000 to 295,000. The report will be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT), along with import and export prices for July.

* The chief executive of NewLink Genetics Corp, which licensed an Ebola vaccine developed by Canadian government scientists, late Wednesday told Reuters it has enough doses on hand to launch the first human safety trial of an Ebola vaccine this summer.

* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Wednesday said it had approved a new insomnia drug made by Merck & Co.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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