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US pre-open: Futures in the red, S&P 500 flirts with milestone

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures were in the red ahead of the bell on Thursday but the S&P 500 continued to flirt with the 5,000-point mark. As of 1230 GMT, Dow Jones futures were down 0.10%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite futures had the indices opening 0.14% and 0.07% lower, respectively.

The Dow closed 156.00 points higher on Wednesday, extending gains recorded in the previous session.

Scope Markets' Joshua Mahony said: "US markets remain in the limelight for equity bulls, with the S&P 500 nudging up against the 5000 mark for the first time on record.

"Today sees markets turn to the US jobs market once again, with unemployment claims expected to settle down after a rise over recent weeks. Coming off the back of Friday's bumper payrolls report, the US jobs picture remains solid as things stand. However, we have seen that payrolls picture enhanced by a huge amount of people taking up second jobs in a bid to adapt to the newly inflated cost of living. With that in mind, markets will be watching closely for any further gains to the unemployment claims figure as a sign of underlying pressure building in the jobs market."

On the macro front, jobless claims data will be out at 1330 GMT, while wholesale inventories numbers will follow at 1500 GMT and Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond president Thomas Barkin was scheduled to deliver a speech at 1705 GMT.

In the corporate space, Disney shares rallied in pre-market trading after the media behemoth bested quarterly earnings estimates and upped full-year forecasts amid cost-cutting efforts, while shares in chipmaker Arm surged after the company reported better-than-expected earnings and issued some upbeat guidance.

Under Armour, Spirit Airlines, Bombardier, Ralph Lauren, Hershey, ConocoPhillips, Kellogg, Warner Music Group, and Harley-Davidson were all slated to report earnings on Thursday.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com

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