* Futures: Dow up 5 pts, S&P down 2.5 pts, Nasdaq down 0.75
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
March 2 U.S. stock index futures were little
changed on Thursday as investors took a breather after sending
Wall Street to its best day since the November presidential
elections on renewed optimism about the economy.
* Wall Street's main indexes rallied on Wednesday and the
Dow Jones Industrial Average sailed past the 21,000 mark,
boosted by President Donald Trump's more measured tone in a
speech to Congress and as bank stocks surged on increased
possibility of an interest rate hike this month.
* An unusually large number of Federal Reserve officials
have spoken this week, stoking the markets to price in higher
chances of a rate hike when the central bank's policy-setting
body meets on March 14-15. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is set to
speak on Friday.
* The dollar index was up on Thursday after gaining
the most in nearly eight weeks, a day after the generally dovish
Fed Board Governor Lael Brainard said rates could be raised
* The odds for a move this month jumped to 74 percent,
according to Thomson Reuters data. Before the influential New
York Fed president William Dudley spoke on Tuesday, the chances
were roughly 30 percent.
* Oil could dampen spirits on Thursday, with prices down 0.8
percent following a report that showed U.S. crude oil stocks hit
an all-time high.
* Investors will also watch a report on jobless claims which
likely edged down by 1,000 to 243,000 last week, pointing to
continued strength in the labor market. The data is due at 8:30
a.m. ET (1330 GMT).
* The trading debut of Snap Inc, the owner of popular
messaging app Snapchat, will also grab attention. Snap on
Wednesday raised $3.4 billion in an initial public offering,
giving the company a $24 billion valuation.
* Among stocks, JD.com rose 6 percent to $32.53 in
premarket trading after the Chinese e-commerce company reported
a 47 percent jump in fourth-quarter revenue.
* Monster Beverage jumped 12.2 percent to $47.13
following a quarterly revenue that beat analysts' average
* Kite Pharma slipped 4.5 percent to $76 on
Citigroup's downgrade to "neutral" and the company's planned
Futures snapshot at 6:55 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.02 percent,
with 22,237 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.5 points, or 0.1
percent, with 122,836 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 0.75 points, or 0.01
percent, on volume of 17,726 contracts.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by