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Thursday, 7 December 2017 | MYT 9:58 PM

S&P, Dow set for weak open

BENGALURU: The S&P 500 and the Dow looked set for a softer opening on Thursday, while gains in chipmaker Broadcom and apparel Lululemon are likely to power the Nasdaq to a higher start.

Broadcom rose about 5% after the chipmaker reporting upbeat profit and boosted its dividend by 72%.

Lululemon Athletica gained 8.4% after the Canadian yoga and leisure apparel maker reported a higher-than-expected profit and gave an upbeat holiday season forecast.

General Electric shares were up 0.34% in premarket trading after the industrial conglomerate said it was cutting 12,000 jobs at its global power business.

Strong earnings and solid economic growth have pushed stocks to record levels this year and Republican efforts to cut corporate taxes have added to the momentum.

The Senate Republicans on Wednesday agreed to talks with the House of Representatives on the tax bill amid early signs that lawmakers could agree on a final bill ahead of a self-imposed Dec. 22 deadline.

However, a gridlock between President Donald Trump and Congress over the passage of spending legislation before Friday has raised fears of partial shut down of the federal government.

"Very rarely does this actually turn into a government shut down," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in Boston.

"What typically happens is the markets grow immune to this debate that at the eleventh hour ,some compromise is made and things move forward and I think that will be how this proceeds."

At 8:34 a.m. ET (1334 GMT), Dow e-minis were down 49 points, or 0.2%, with 28,196 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.5 points, or 0.02%, with 191,077 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 15.75 points, or 0.25%, on volume of 39,927 contracts.

Oil prices rose more than half a percent after dipping 2% on Wednesday as a fall in U.S. crude inventories was countered by soaring output and a rise in fuel stocks.

Data showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, with claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 2,000 to 236,000 for the week ended Dec. 2.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 240,000.

The report comes ahead of a more comprehensive government payrolls data on Friday, where investors are looking to gauge the strength of the labor market. - Reuters