LONDON, April 18 U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a slightly higher open on Wall Street on Thursday,
with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and
the Nasdaq 100 rising 0.1 to 0.2 percent.
* The Labor Department releases first-time claims for
jobless benefits for the week ended April 13 at 1230 GMT.
Economists forecast a total of 350,000 new filings, compared
with 346,000 in the prior week.
* On the earnings front, major companies announcing results
include Morgan Stanley, Google, Microsoft
, IBM, Advanced Micro Devices, Freeport
McMoRan Copper & Gold and Verizon.
* The Conference Board releases its report on March leading
economic indicators at 1400 GMT. Economists forecast a 0.1
percent rise, against a 0.5 percent gain in February.
* Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank releases April business
activity survey. Economists forecast a reading of 3.0, versus
2.0 in March.
* North Korea offered the United States and South Korea a
list of conditions on Thursday for talks, including the lifting
of U.N. sanctions, signalling a possible end to weeks of warlike
hostility on the Korean peninsula.
* European shares edged higher on Thursday, with some
investors seeing value after the market's worst four-day fall in
nine months, although a crop of weak earnings and global growth
concerns kept a lid on gains.
* Japan's Nikkei share average dropped 1.2 percent
on Thursday as Apple-linked shares came under pressure on
concerns of slowing sales of the iPhone maker's products, while
global growth worries dampened the appeal of exporters.
* U.S. stocks fell in a broad market selloff Wednesday, led
by a sharp fall in Apple shares on worries about slowing demand
for its products and weaker-than-expected results from Bank of
America that battered the financial sector.
* The Dow Jones industrial average was down 138.19
points, or 0.94 percent, at 14,618.59. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was down 22.56 points, or 1.43 percent, at
1,552.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 59.96
points, or 1.84 percent, at 3,204.67.