Wall Street Points Green Ahead of Claims Data


Stock futures advanced on Thursday, indicating stocks may rebound after two straight days of declines, ahead of data on the labor market.

* The S&P 500 .SPX dropped more than 1 percent Wednesday and has lost 1.9 percent over the past two sessions as concerns mounted that the U.S. Federal Reserve may scale back its bond-buying stimulus before the economy is strong enough to stand on its own.

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* The two-day drop for the benchmark S&P index is the worst back-to-back performance since a 2.1 percent decline in mid-April.

* Investors will eye weekly initial jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) for clues on the health of the labor market ahead of Friday's important payrolls report. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 345,000 new filings compared with 354,000 in the prior week.

* Wednesday's ADP National Employment report showed private employers accelerated hiring in May from the prior month, but the gains fell short of expectations.

* S&P 500 futures rose 5 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 33 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 6.25 points.

* SodaStream International (SODA.O) jumped 8.2 percent to $75 in premarket trading after the Calcalist financial newspaper said PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N) is in talks to buy the maker of home beverage systems for $2 billion.

* Retailers will also be eyed as they report monthly sales results. Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O) reported May same-store sales that missed analyst estimates, due to a relatively stronger dollar and weak gasoline prices.

* In Europe, Johnson Matthey was the star performer after results as the chemicals firm led European shares slightly higher, with trading expected to remain volatile ahead of the U.S. economic data. .EU

* Asian shares tumbled to fresh 2013 lows as growing uncertainty on whether the U.S. Federal Reserve would roll back its stimulus this year kept markets on edge.