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US STOCKS-Futures sluggish; eyes on tax bill talks and General Electric
December 7, 2017 / 12:27 PM / 11 days ago

US STOCKS-Futures sluggish; eyes on tax bill talks and General Electric

* Futures: Dow down 13 pts, S&P up 1.5 pts, Nasdaq up 15.75 pts

By Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman

Dec 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a dull opening on Thursday with technology stocks holding on to their modest gains as traders focus on progress in tax bill negotiations and General Electric’s job-cut plan.

*GE shares rose 0.6 percent to $17.76 in premarket trading after the struggling industrial conglomerate said it was axing 12,000 jobs at its global power business.

* Shares of tech giants Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc were up about 0.3 percent to 0.6 percent.

* Other early movers include Broadcom, which gained 5 percent after reporting upbeat profit and boosting its dividend by 72 percent, days after the chipmaker took its $103 billion bid for Qualcomm hostile.

* Lululemon Athletica rose about 8 percent after the Canadian yoga and leisure apparel maker reported a higher-than-expected profit and gave an upbeat holiday-quarter forecast.

* U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday agreed to talks with the House of Representatives on the tax bill on Wednesday, 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 fresh spending legislation before Friday has raised fears of partial shut down of the federal government.

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

* Data is expected to show weekly initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose to 240,000 from 238,000 in the week before. The report is due 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT).

Futures snapshot at 6:51 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were down 13 points, or 0.05 percent, with 19,224 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.5 points, or 0.06 percent, with 122,705 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 15.75 points, or 0.25 percent, on volume of 29,337 contracts.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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