US STOCKS-Wall St set for higher open on Washington hopes
* Chevron warns on Q3 earnings
* Initial jobless claims rise on technical problems
* Citrix Systems tumbles after outlook
* Indexes up: Dow 103 pts, S&P 13.8 pts, Nasdaq 27.75 pts
NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were poised for a stronger open on Thursday as investors were encouraged by signs of progress in fiscal negotiations in Washington.
According to a Republican leadership aide, U.S. House of Representatives Republicans are considering agreeing to a short-term increase in the government's borrowing authority, keeping a possible default after Oct. 17 at bay and buying time for negotiations on broader policy measures.
President Barack Obama and congressional leaders are set to meet on Thursday for further discussions.
"It would be a minor sign of hope there may be some more positive news coming in the next couple of days, hard to make much more out of that," said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist, D.A. Davidson & Co. Lake Oswego, Oregon.
"The markets right now are betting somebody will blink between now and October 17."
The U.S. government shutdown has been in effect for ten days since congressional Republicans refused to pass a budget for the fiscal year without modifications to Obama's healthcare reform law.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the gridlock in Washington was hurting the U.S. economy, and urged Congress to raise a cap on government borrowing to keep America from defaulting on its debt.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 66,000 to a seasonally adjusted 374,000, the highest level since the end of March and well above expectations for 310,000 claims, though technical problems in California from the upgrading of its computers accounted for about half the increase in claims.
S&P 500 futures rose 13.8 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 gained 103 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 27.75 points.
On Wednesday, the Dow and S&P 500 rose on early signs of a possible break in the impasse between Republicans and Democrats in Congress, but the Nasdaq closed lower for a third day as investors continued to sell this year's high-flying tech stocks such as Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc.
The Nasdaq technology sector has shed 2.8 percent over the last three sessions, its biggest three-day drop since late June.
Chevron Corp, the second-largest U.S. oil company, warned on Wednesday its third-quarter earnings would be lower than in the second quarter as fuel margins were squeezed. Its shares slipped 0.8 percent to $115.25 in premarket trading.
Gilead Sciences Inc gained 4 percent to $61.25 in premarket trading after a pivotal trial of its drug idelalisib was determined by independent monitors to be effective against Leukemia and was stopped early.
Citrix Systems Inc slumped 11.3 percent to $59.10 before the opening bell after the cloud computing software maker estimated quarterly results to be below analysts' expectations as businesses delayed contracts.
S&P 500 companies due to report earnings after the close include Micron Technology Inc and Safeway Inc.