* U.S. stock futures pointed to a mixed open on Wall Street
on Thursday, with futures for both the S&P 500 SPc1 and the
Dow Jones DJc1 rising 0.3 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures
NDc1 down 0.3 percent on news Steve Jobs had stepped down as
* Technology shares will be in focus after Jobs resigned and
passed the reins to his right-hand man Tim Cook, saying he could
no longer fulfill the duties.
* Apple shares fell 7 percent in after-hours trade on
Wednesday, while its stocks traded in Frankfurt were
down 4.8 percent. Apple has the biggest effect on the Nasdaq
100's daily moves, as it accounted for more than 14 percent of
the index at the end of trading on Wednesday, according to
* The Labor Department releases first-time claims for
jobless benefits for the week ended Aug. 20 at 1230 GMT.
Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 405,000 new
filings compared with 408,000 in the prior week.
* AT&T said on Wednesday the Federal Communications
Commission had requested more information about its acquisition
of T-Mobile in relation to its commitment to expand high-speed
wireless services to 97 percent of all Americans.
* The Obama administration is working on proposals to prop
up the weak U.S. housing market and may back a plan to refinance
government-backed mortgages at today's lower interest rates, the
New York Times reported, citing two people briefed on the
* Companies reporting results include Hormel Foods
and Big Lots .
* European shares rose 1 percent on Thursday,
extending a rally into a fourth day as speculation grew that
U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke would announce
stimulus measures for the struggling U.S. economy on Friday.
Japan's Nikkei average rose 1.5 percent.
* Bernanke was due to address central bankers at an annual
symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday. His speech last
year laid the groundwork for the Fed's unprecedented $600
billion bond-buying programme, known as quantitative easing or
QE2, to revive a sputtering U.S. economy.
* U.S. stocks rallied for a second day on Wednesday. The Dow
Jones industrial average shot up 143.95 points, or 1.29
percent, to end at 11,320.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
jumped 15.25 points, or 1.31 percent, to finish at
1,177.60. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 21.63
points, or 0.88 percent, to close at 2,467.69.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Dan Lalor)