LONDON, Sept 20 * U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a weaker open on Wall Street on Thursday, with
futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the
Nasdaq 100 all down 0.4 percent.
* The Labor Department releases at 1230 GMT first-time
claims for jobless benefits for the week ended Sept. 15.
Economists forecast a total of 375,000 new filings, compared
with 382,000 in the prior week.
* Pay-TV group BSkyB is 'fit and proper' to hold a
broadcast licence, Britain's media regulator has found, after an
investigation sparked by the revelations of criminality at its
largest shareholder News Corp.
* Information services company Markit releases its U.S.
flash Markit Manufacturing PMI for September at 1258 GMT.
Economists expect the PMI to read 51.5, a repeat of the final
* Liberty Global Inc, the majority owner of
Telenet Group Holding NV, plans to launch a tender
offer for the remainder of the Belgian cable company, the Wall
Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
* The Conference Board releases at 1400 GMT its report on
August leading economic indicators. Economists forecast a 0.1
percent drop, compared with a 0.4 percent rise in July.
* Results from Oracle, the world's No. 3 software
maker, could provide clues as to whether corporate technology
spending will pick up at the end of the year when managers rush
to spend remaining budgeted funds.
* Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank releases September
business activity survey at 1400 GMT. Economists forecast a
reading of -4.0, versus -7.1 in August.
* Adobe Systems Inc, maker of Photoshop and Acrobat
software, said current-quarter earnings will decline or remain
flat as customers take to the company's new subscription-based
model faster than expected.
* After the bell, shares of railroad company Norfolk
Southern Corp dropped 5.5 percent after it said weaker
shipments of coal and merchandise as well as lower fuel-
surcharge revenue would reduce its third-quarter earnings
compared with a year earlier.
* Bank of America Corp is planning to cut 16,000
jobs by year end as it speeds up a company-wide cost-cutting
initiative amid declining revenues, the Wall Street Journal
reported on Wednesday.
* European equities fell 0.5 percent on Thursday as
weak Chinese manufacturing data reignited global growth
concerns, hitting miners, while euro zone banks continued to
trim recent gains on uncertainty about if and when Spain would
apply for a bailout.
* Manufacturing in China contracted for the 11th month in a
row in September, according to a private sector survey of
factory managers that indicated the world's second largest
economy remains on track for a seventh quarter of slowing
* Brent crude eased below $108 a barrel after China's
manufacturing data, weakening sentiment further in a market
already reeling from Saudi Arabia's pledge to keep global oil
* U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday as investors dipped back
into the market after the recent pullback from a rally that
lifted the S&P 500 to just shy of five-year highs.
* The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13.32 points,
or 0.10 percent, to end at 13,577.96. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index added 1.73 points, or 0.12 percent, to finish at
1,461.05. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 4.82 points,
or 0.15 percent, to close at 3,182.62.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by Chris Pizzey, London MPG
Desk, +44 (0)207 542-4441)