* Initial claims drop more than expected
* Import prices jump, but broad inflation remains muted
* Bed, Bath & Beyond slumps after earnings
* Imperva drops after preliminary results
* Futures off: Dow 19 pts, S&P 2.25 pts, Nasdaq 5.25 pts
(Adds data, updates prices)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, April 10 U.S. stocks were set for a
slightly lower open on Thursday, after the S&P 500 notched its
biggest gain in over a month, as strong economic data was offset
by some disappointing corporate earnings.
* Bed, Bath & Beyond shares slumped 6 percent to
$63.85 before the opening bell after the domestic merchandise
retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings.
* Family Dollar Stores Inc lost 1.8 percent to $58
in premarket after it reported second-quarter results and gave
an outlook that fell short of expectations. The discount
retailer also said it would cut jobs, shut about 370
underperforming stores and lower prices on about 1,000 basic
* The lackluster earnings overshadowed optimistic data on
the labor front, as the number of Americans filing new claims
for unemployment benefits fell to 300,000 last week, the lowest
level in almost seven years and well below the 320,000 estimate.
* Financials JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo &
Co will close out the week with results on Friday.
* The S&P 500 scored its biggest gain since March 4
after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting
showed a more supportive central bank than investors had
* In minutes of the Federal Reserve meeting published on
Wednesday, several participants said forecasts "overstated the
shift in the projections," suggesting the Fed is not as eager to
tighten policy as the rate forecasts had seemed to suggest.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures shed 2.25 points and were
slightly below 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 futures
declined 19 points and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped
* U.S. import prices increased 0.6 percent in March, their
largest jump in three years, after an unrevised 0.9 percent
increase in February, but there was little sign of a broader
pickup in imported inflation.
* Earlier, data in China showed exports unexpectedly fell
for the second straight month in March and import growth dropped
sharply, intensifying concerns about weak manufacturing and
slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy.
* EBay Inc and Carl Icahn ended their proxy fight,
with the activist investor dropping his proposal for the
e-commerce company to split off its PayPal payments unit and
withdrawing two nominees for the eBay board. EBay shares dipped
1.3 percent to $55.15 in premarket.
* Imperva Inc plunged 34.1 percent to $32.75 in
premarket trade after the data center security company reported
preliminary fist-quarter results. Rival FireEye Inc
lost 3.2 percent to $54.60 before the opening bell.
* But Rite Aid Corp was a bright spot as shares
jumped 9.5 percent to $7.01 premarket after the drugstore chain
posted fourth-quarter earnings and provided its full-year
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)