(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a mixed opening on the Wall Street weighed by weak quarterly results and forecast from Apple.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 13 points to 13,732. The Nasdaq futures retreated 38.75 points to 2,720.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures dipped 2.00 points to 1,488.30.
On the domestic economic front, the number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits unexpectedly fell last week, a government data showed. Jobless claims declined 5,000 to 330,000 for the week ended Jan. 19 from a revised 335,000, while economists projected 355,000 applications.
The Conference Board's leading economic indicators index for December is expected to rise 0.3 percent versus a 0.2 percent decline in the prior month.
On Wednesday, U.S. stocks ended higher, buoyed by a set of better-than-expected earnings reports from major companies, including Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the House voted to temporarily extend the nation's debt ceiling.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: AAPL, BMY, NOK, NFLX, XRX, MKC, MLNX, TZOO
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) tumbled 9.53 percent in premarket after the technology giant guided second-quarter revenue below market expectations. The company's iPhone sales jumped 29 percent to 47.8 million units in the first quarter, yet came in below market expectations of 50 million units.
Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) delivered stronger-than-forecast quarterly earnings and the pharmaceutical products company guided 2013 in line with market expectations. Shares gained 1.43 percent in premarket.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) lost 4.31 percent in premarket after the struggling phone maker gave a weak outlook for the first quarter and suspended dividend to boost liquidity.
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) spiked 38.49 percent in premarket after the online video-rental service company posted an unexpected quarterly profit and issued an upbeat outlook. Earnings and revenue topped market expectations.
Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) gained 3.69 percent in premarket after the company posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue, helped by strong growth at its services business.
McCormick & Co Inc. (NYSE: MKC) retreated 4.34 percent in premarket after the spice maker posted quarterly results that missed market expectations and issued a downbeat outlook.
Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLNX) plunged 20.68 percent in premarket after the provider of semiconductor interconnect products forecast lower first-quarter revenue that also missed market expectations.
Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ: TZOO) surged 7.96 percent in premarket after the company posted better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX down 0.01 percent to trade at 7,706.36. France's CAC40 inched up 0.02 percent to trade at 3,728.26. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.36 percent to trade at 6,219.71.
Asian markets closed mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index down 0.79 percent to close at 2,302.60. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.28 percent to finish at 10,620.87. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.15 percent to end at 23,598.90. India's BSE Sensex ended 0.51 percent lower at 19,923.78.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures gained 0.55 percent to $96.24 per barrel. Gold futures dropped 0.62 percent to $1,676.30 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.22 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3347, while the British pound shed 0.30 percent to 1.5797. The dollar jumped 1.22 percent against the Japanese yen to 89.6900.