LONDON Feb 21 U.S. stock index futures pointed
to a lower open on Wall Street on Thursday, with the S&P 500
index poised to extend losses after its biggest daily
fall in three months in the previous session.
* Futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and
the Nasdaq 100 fell 0.3-0.4 percent at 0941 GMT.
* European markets also traded lower after U.S. Federal
Reserve minutes suggested the central bank may decide earlier
than previously expected to stop printing the money that has
helped drive the recent rally in equities.
* The Labor Department's weekly jobless claims, expected to
show a jump to 355,000 from 341,000 the prior week, open a day
of data releases at 1330 GMT. The Labor Department's Consumer
Price Index is expected to have edged up 0.1 percent month on
month in January.
* The flash reading of the U.S. flash Markit Manufacturing
PMI for February is forecast at 55.5 versus 55.8 in the final
January report. It will be published at 1358 GMT on Reuters.
* January existing home sales from the National Association
of Realtors, due at 1500 GMT, are expected to show a slight
decline to 4.90 millions from 4.94 millions, but the pace will
likely hold at a robust level that will draw down inventories
and help spur construction.
* Also at 1500 GMT, January's leading economic indicators.
is forecast to show a 0.3 percent rise compared with a 0.5
percent rise in the prior month, while the Philadelphia Federal
Reserve Bank's February business activity survey is seen at 1.0
versus -5.8 in January.
* The world's largest retailer Wal-Mart is expected to
post quarterly earnings per share of $1.57, up from $1.44 one
year earlier, and the report will shed light on whether
initiatives such as expanding and extending the firm's holiday
layaway program paid off.
* PC maker Hewlett-Packard and Chesapeake Energy
, the second-largest U.S. producer of natural gas, also
report quarterly results.
* International Business Machines, the technology
services company, unveiled its expanded mobile strategy on
Thursday in an effort to gain an advantage over rivals amid a
proliferation of devices such as smartphones and tablets.
* A lawyer for Macy's Inc told a judge on Wednesday
that rival J.C. Penney Co Inc and Martha Stewart schemed
to develop a partnership that ran afoul of Macy's contract with
the home goods doyenne.
* Citigroup Inc Chairman Michael O'Neill is not eager
to explore a breakup of the third-largest U.S. bank, the Wall
Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
* A senior Boeing Co executive will meet with the
head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Friday and
present a series of measures aimed at preventing the battery
failures that grounded its 787 Dreamliner fleet for five weeks,
according to a source familiar with the plans.
* The U.S. Justice Department is investigating JPMorgan
Chase & Co over allegations that Bear Stearns provided
misleading information about its mortgage products during the
lead-up to the financial crisis, according to people familiar
with the matter.
* The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 108.13
points, or 0.77 percent, to 13,927.54 on Wednesday. The Standard
& Poor's 500 Index fell 18.99 points, or 1.24 percent, to
1,511.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 49.19 points,
or 1.53 percent, to end at 3,164.41.