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U.S. futures hold steady ahead of economic reports; Dow Jones down 0.04%

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Shutterstock photo - - U.S. stock futures pointed to a steady open on Thursday, as markets were jittery ahead of the release of a number of U.S. economic reports, as well as fresh first-quarter earnings.

Ahead of the open, the Dow 30futures pointed to a 0.04% dip, S&P 500futures signaled a 0.10% loss, while the Nasdaq 100futures indicated a 0.02% uptick.

The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) was expected be in the spotlight as shares surged 5.25% in late trading, after the company said Jill Abramson, its executive editor, was unexpectedly leaving the position.

Tech stocks were also set to be active, after a U.S. congressional investigation found on Wednesday that the $43 billion online-advertising network is jeopardizing consumer privacy and giving hackers an easy way to infect computers. Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) shares slipped 0.11% in after-hour trade.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) shares were up 0.11% in extended trade, after Chief Executive Officer Ian Read told U.K. lawmakers on Wednesdat that a deal to acquire rival Astrazeneca (LONDON:AZN) would help allow the combined company to challenge the current leaders in oncology.

However, the U.K. drugmaker was said to have disagreed.

Elsewhere, Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) was expected to move after the department-store chain said it was exploring options including a possible sale for its stake in Sears Canada.

Macy's (NYSE:M) was steady, up 0.03%, after the retailer reported slightly better-than-expected earnings, but said sales unexpectedly dropped.

Other stocks likely to be in focus included Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT), Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), JC Penney (NYSE:JCP), Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) and Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP), scheduled to report quarterly results later in the day.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.12%, France's CAC 40 slipped 0.18%, Germany's DAX dipped 0.02%, while Britain's FTSE 100 inched 0.02% lower.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.66%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.75%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on initial jobless claims, consumer inflation and industrial production, as well as a report on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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