Futures flat ahead of data flurry

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday ahead of a flurry of economic data, after the Dow edged up to a new record a day earlier while the Nasdaq snapped a 10-session winning streak.

* Investors were looking ahead to data on the labor market and inflation at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) with the release of weekly initial jobless claims and the January consumer price index. Expectations call for claims to rise to 290,000 while CPI is expected to show a decline of 0.6 percent.

* Durable goods data for February is also expected at 8:30 a.m., with expectations calling for an increase of 1.7 percent. <ECONUSTODAY>

* A decline in shares of Apple <AAPL.O> tilted the S&P 500 <.SPX> and Nasdaq <.IXIC> slightly into the red on Wednesday, while the Dow <.DJI> managed to edge up to a new record in the wake of testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to a House of Representatives committee that yielded little insight into the timing of an interest rate hike.

* After a sluggish start to the year, equities have rebounded sharply in February. Both the Dow and S&P 500 are on track for their best monthly performance since October 2011, while the Nasdaq is on pace for its best month since January 2012.

* Transocean <RIG.N> shares gained 4.4 percent to $ 16.75 in premarket after posting quarterly results.

* Salesforce.com <CRM.N> shares surged 10.6 percent to $ 69.55 before the opening bell after the cloud software company reported quarterly earnings and raised its full-year revenue forecast.

* European stocks rose modestly, taking a breather from a sharp two-month rally, with Allianz <ALVG.DE> falling after its dividend rise disappointed. [.EU]

* In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei stock average <.N225> climbed 1.1 percent to a fresh 15-year high, helped by news that the body managing Japan’s national civil service pensions will raise its target allocation for domestic stocks to 25 percent from 8 percent.

Futures snapshot at 7:39 a.m. EST:

* S&P 500 e-minis <ESc1> were up 2.75 points, or 0.13 percent, with 68,384 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis <NQc1> were up 6.75 points, or 0.15 percent, in volume of 14,757 contracts.

* Dow e-minis <1YMc1> were up 16 points, or 0.09 percent, with 12,515 contracts changing hands.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Nasdaq Futures

nasdaqfutures.org@imediaone.com

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