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US Stocks Set For Slightly Lower Open as Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise

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U.S. stocks were set to open slightly lower Thursday as weekly jobless claims unexpectedly rose and as investors also looked to other data later in the day, on productivity and non-manufacturing.

West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in April was down 0.2% at $34.59 in recent trade while Brent crude was down 0.4% at $36.79.

In the week ended Feb. 27 jobless claims rose to 278,000, exceeding the 270,000 expected and rising from 272,000 in the preceding week. The consensus range was between 263,000 and 272,000, according to data compiled by Econoday.

At 10:00 a.m., data on factory orders are expected to show a 2% increase in January from December, when factory orders fell 2.9%. The consensus range is between a growth of 0.5% to 2.8%. Meanwhile, the ISM non-manufacturing index is seen slipped to 53.1 for February from 53.5 in January, within the consensus range between 52.0 and 54.0.

In equities, Herbalife ( HLF ) shares were down nearly 7% in recent pre-market trade after company said it had provided "errant" information regarding active new members in 2015. The company had said worldwide active new members excluding China were up 8.3% while the actual figure was a 3.4% increase.

U.S. PRE-MARKET INDICATORS

-Dow Jones Industrial down 0.08%

-S&P 500 futures down 0.10%

-Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.03%

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

Nikkei up 1.28%

Hang Seng down 0.31%

Shanghai Composite up 0.35%

FTSE-100 down 0.19%

DAX-30 down 0.25%

PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH

(+/-) Large cap tech: mixed

(+) Chip stocks: unchanged to higher

(+/-) Software stocks: mixed

(+/-) Hardware stocks: mixed

(+/-) Internet stocks: mixed

(+/-) Oil stocks: mixed

(+) Biotech: unchanged to higher

(-) Drug stocks: unchanged to lower

(+/-) Financial stocks: mixed

(-) Retail stocks: unchanged to lower

(-) Industrial stocks: unchanged to lower

(+/-) Airlines: unchanged

(+/-) Autos: mixed

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) INTC (+2.5%) Baird upgrades to outperform from neutral, lifts PT to $38 vs $33

(+) TAST (+11.7%) Q4 tops views, sees 2016 sales above Street

(+) PLX (+6.3%) To report positive data on Fabry disease treatment

(+) SSYS (+11.5%) Q4 beats views, 2016 guidance mostly above Street view

(+) TSL (+3.6%) Q4 exceeds estimates

(+) TUMI (+35.6%) Samsonite nears $2 billion takeover deal: WSJ

(+) VSTM (+9.5%) 2015 loss beats views; to evaluate combination therapy to treat advanced cancer with PFE (-0.2%) and Germany's Merck KGaA

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) COST (-2.9%) Fiscal Q2 results miss views

(-) BANC (-8.8%) Prices 4.9 million share sale at 8% discount

(-) CIEN (-4.6%) Posts mixed Q1, provides soft guidance

(-) SUNE (-9.5%) Suspends quarterly dividend on preferred stock

(-) KR (-6.6%) Reports Q4 results

(-) TSLX (-5.2%) Plans to sell 5 millions shares

(-) JOY (-2.8%) Posts wider Q1 loss than expected

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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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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