* 2nd-qtr GDP expands at 1.4 pct rate
* Weekly jobless claims rise less than expected
* Futures down: Dow 28 pts, S&P 4 pts, Nasdaq 9 pts
(Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Sept 29 U.S. stocks looked set to open slightly
lower as oil prices lost ground and investors assessed a set of
economic data ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's
An agreement among major oil producing countries to curb
output resulted in a near 6 percent surge in Brent crude prices
on Wednesday, but investors were worried about a lack of clarity
on details of the deal. Brent crude fell 0.82 percent.
Wall Street cut losses on Wednesday, ending the session
higher as the oil rally boosted shares of energy companies.
U.S. economic growth was less sluggish than previously
thought in the second quarter as gross domestic product expanded
at a 1.4 percent annual rate, compared with the prior estimate
of 1.1 percent rise.
Another report showed that the number of Americans applying
for jobless claims rose less-than-expected last week.
"I think you are going to get a tight-ranged choppy market,"
said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in New
The strength in economic data could pave the way for the Fed
to raise interest rates later this year.
Fed Chair Yellen speaks on banking and the economy at 4:00
p.m. ET (2000 GMT) in Washington and her comments will be parsed
for any hints on the timing of the next rate hike.
The markets have been at the mercy of every Fed deliberation
as its members remain divided over whether the U.S. economy is
strong enough to absorb a rate hike in the near term.
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harper said a rate
increase in December would be appropriate, while his Atlanta
counterpart Dennis Lockhart said the central bank needed more
evidence on progress before making a move.
Fed Board Governor Jerome Powell and Kansas City Fed
President Esther George, who have a say on interest rates, will
speak later in the day.
Dow e-minis were down 28 points, or 0.15 percent at
8:36 a.m. ET, with 21,242 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were down 4 points, or 0.18 percent,
with 148,238 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 9 points, or 0.18
percent, on volume of 19,943 contracts.
Shares of PepsiCo rose 2.3 percent to $109.90
premarket after the beverage giant reported quarterly revenue
that beat analysts' estimate.
Apple was down 0.65 percent to $113.21 after
Barclays cut its price target on the stock.
Ebay rose 2.4 percent after Deutsche Bank upgraded
the e-commerce platform's rating to "buy" and raised its price
Intra-Cellular plunged 65.76 percent to $14.50
after the company said its schizophrenia drug did not show any
clinically significant difference when compared with placebo.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by