US Markets

Futures lower on weak labor data, Obama speech


U.S. stock index futures pointed to a weaker open on Wall Street Thursday after President Barack Obama announced new plans to fight Islamic State militants and jobless claims for the week came in higher than expected.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 315,000 for the week ended September 6, the highest level since June, the Labor Department said on Thursday. However, claims remained near pre-recession levels and did not indicate a significant change in labor market conditions.

Earlier, Chinese inflation data caused concern that the world's second-largest economy was losing steam.

Stocks bounced Wednesday as technology shares rallied on the back of 3.1 percent rebound in Apple. The S&P 500 finished the day at 1,995, up seven, while Nasdaq climbed 0.8 percent to 4586.

"Tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat," Obama said on Wednesday evening.

The news comes amid heightened nerves over terrorism in the U.S. on the 13-year anniversary of 9/11.

Meanwhile in China, figures showed consumer prices eased to 2 percent last month, slower than July's 2.3 percent rise and below a Reuters poll expecting a 2.2 percent increase. This remains below Beijing's official target of 3.5 percent.

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Yoga apparel retailer Lululemon was among companies reporting on Thursday. The group's second-quarter earnings came in at 3 cents a share, above a consensus forecast of 29 cents a share.

The evaporation of RadioShack's market cap is likely to continue, after the company reported a loss that was twice as large as expected, with revenue also well below estimates on a 20 percent drop in same-store sales. The stock has lost 95 percent of its value over the past decade, but RadioShack said it is exploring a variety of strategic alternatives including a possible sale

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Twitter announced its first debt sale. The microblogging platform will raise as much as $1.5 billion through a sale of convertible notes.

Yum Brands—the parent of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell—raised its quarterly dividend by 11 percent, increasing the payout by four cents to 41 cents per share.

JDS Uniphase is splitting itself into two separate publicly traded companies by spinning off its communications and commercial optical products business to shareholders.

Natural gas inventories are expected at 10:30 a.m.

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The Treasury budget for August is out at 2 p.m.

Reuters contributed to this report.