(By Balaseshan) US stock-index futures pointed to flat open on the Wall Street after jobs data amid Greece political uncertainty and a report that Moody's Investors Service will downgrade Spanish banks.
Mini Dow industrial average futures rose 11.00 points to 12,585.00. The Nasdaq Futures gained 0.50 points to 2,588.00. Standard and Poor's 500 futures rose 0.70 points to 1,323.10.
On the US economic front, the number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits rose, a government data showed. Jobless claims remains unchanged at 370,000 last week, while economists projected claims to drop to 365,000. The four-week moving average for claims - a less volatile measure than the weekly figures - decreased 4,750 to 375,000 last week, a data from the Labor Department showed.
Greece said it would hold fresh elections on June 17 after the final talks to form a coalition government failed. The European Central Bank has reportedly withdrawn funding to some Greek banks because they have not been adequately recapitalised. According to a new Expansion report, Moody's Investors Service will probably announce rating downgrades for Spanish banks Thursday.
On Wednesday, U.S. stocks closed on a lower note for the fourth straight day, weighed by minutes from last month's Fed meeting and reports that the European Central Bank has stopped funding operations for some Greek banks.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: WMT, LTD, DLTR, SHLD, JCP Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
) gained 3.23 percent in premarket after the company's quarterly results topped Street's expectations reflecting the continued strength overseas and rebounding U.S. sales. The company guided second quarter earnings in-line with consensus.Limited Brands Inc.
) fell 2.02 percent in premarket after the company guided second quarter earnings per share (EPS) of $0.40 to $0.45, below Street's view of $0.50. For the fiscal 2012, the company anticipates earnings of $2.63 to $2.83 per share, while Street expects $2.83 per share.Dollar Tree Inc.
) shares retreated 4.79 percent in premarket after the company forecast second-quarter earnings below market expectations. DLTR forecasts Q2 earnings per share of $0.87 to $0.93 and sales of $1.66 billion to $1.70 billion, while Street predicts EPS of $0.95 on revenue of $1.70 billion.Sears Holdings Corp.
) climbed 7.35 percent in premarket after the company's better than forecast first quarter results. The company's board has approved a plan for the partial spin-off of its interest in Sears Canada Inc. (TSE:SCC).Sears Holdings currently owns about 95 percent of Sears Canada. It expects to distribute shares of Sears Canada held by it on a pro rata basis to holders of Sear Holdings' common stock. Following the spin-off, which is expected to complete this year, Sears will retain about 51 percent stake in Sears Canada.J.C. Penney Co. Inc.
) rebounded 2.62 percent in premarket after losing 20 percent Wednesday due to lower than anticipated quarterly results, and discontinue of its $0.20 per share quarterly dividend.
The European markets traded lower as Greek concerns persisted, with Germany's DAX falling 1.26 percent to trade at 6,304.03. France's CAC40 tumbled 1.18 percent to 3,012.81. Britain's FTSE 100 lost 1.66 percent to 5,315.35.
Asian markets ended on a mixed note amid concerns surrounding Greece. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.39 percent to end at 2,378.89. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 0.31 percent to close at 19,200.93. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.86 percent to close at 8,876.59. India's BSE Sensex finished at 16,070.48, up 0.25 percent.
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures added 0.38 percent to $93.16 per barrel. Gold futures climbed 1.26 percent to $1,556.00 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro edged 0.20 percent lower against the U.S. dollar to 1.2690, while the British pound shed 0.50 percent against the greenback to 1.5830. The dollar edged 0.07 percent lower against the Japanese yen to 80.2700.