* Jobless claims rise less than expected in latest week
* Google, IBM shares fall a day after posting earnings
* Morgan Stanley shares rally after results
* Futures up: Dow 15 pts, S&P 3 pts, Nasdaq up 12 pts
(Recasts, updates prices)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, April 17 Wall Street was set to open
little changed Thursday, following three days of gains, as
underwhelming results from tech giants Google and IBM were
offset by upbeat quarterly numbers from the likes of Morgan
Stanley, Goldman Sachs and General Electric.
* Supporting equities, the number of Americans filing new
claims for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last
week and remained near its pre-recession levels, offering
further evidence of the economy's underlying strength.
* Google shares fell 2 percent in premarket
trading and IBM lost 4.3 percent after both reported
underwhelming earnings late Wednesday. Their results raised
questions about those of other tech-sector companies.
* Shares of Morgan Stanley, however, rose 3 percent
after it reported a rise in first-quarter earnings, while
Goldman Sachs shares gained 2.3 percent after the bank
reported an 11 percent drop in profits but beat expectations.
* General Electric posted a 12 percent rise in
overall industrial profits and its shares gained 2.2 percent in
* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 3 points and fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract, pointed to a flat open. Dow Jones industrial average
futures rose 15 points and Nasdaq 100 futures
added 12 points.
* Wall Street rallied 1 percent on Wednesday after Federal
Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said persistently low inflation poses
a more immediate threat to the U.S. economy than rising prices,
stressing that the U.S. central bank would be delivering policy
stimulus for some time to come.
* China's Weibo Corp will be valued at $3.46 billion
when it goes public on the Nasdaq on Thursday, as it priced at
the lower end of expectations on concerns about the
microblogging service's slowing user growth and the country's
highly censored media environment.
* SanDisk increased its outlook for gross margins
in 2014 as fast-growing sales of its high-end solid-state drives
helped offset volatile prices for memory chips, sending its
shares up 6.4 percent in premarket trading.
* Chipotle Mexican Grill reported an 8 percent rise
in quarterly profit as sales surged at established restaurants,
driving its shares up 3.5 percent in premarket trading.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)