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US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow headed lower a day after Fed hints at 'taper talk'

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* Kohl’s drops as raised sales forecast disappoints

* Cisco falls after profit warning

* Crypto-related stocks rebound as bitcoin retraces losses

* Ralph Lauren slides as forecast falls short of estimates

* Futures: Dow falls 0.26%, S&P down 0.10%, Nasdaq up 0.09% (Adds comment, details; updates prices)

May 20 (Reuters) - Futures signaled a lower open for the Dow and the S&P 500 on Thursday following signs the Federal Reserve policymakers discussed tapering of bond purchases last month, while jobless claims data showed an improving labor market.

Leading losses among the 30 blue-chip Dow components in premarket trading was Cisco Systems Inc, down 5.4%, after the network gear maker cautioned that supply chain issues will linger through the end of 2021 and forecast its current-quarter profit below estimates.

The number of Americans filing for new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 444,000 in the week ended May 15, down for the third straight time to its lowest since a pandemic-led recession.

Wall Street’s main indexes fell for the third consecutive session on Wednesday after minutes from Fed’s meeting last month indicated many policymakers thought it would be appropriate to discuss easing crisis-era support in upcoming meetings if the strong economic momentum is sustained.

However, many analysts viewed the statement as old news as economic data since then has showed an unexpected slowdown in the labor market, fanning inflation worries.

“Unprecedented stimulus, supply chain imbalances, and prospects for a record tight U.S. labor market are creating high uncertainty about the inflation outlook,” said Linda Duessel, senior strategist at Federated Hermes.

Signs of rising inflation have increased bets that the Federal Reserve may tighten its policy soon, hitting rate-sensitive growth stocks that set the tech-heavy Nasdaq on track for its fifth consecutive weekly drop.

Bitcoin regained some lost ground to trade near $40,000, a day after a brutal selloff. Crypto-exchange operator Coinbase Global, miners Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital Holdings rebounded between 2.7% and 7.3% in sympathy with the digital coin.

At 8:35 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 87 points, or 0.26%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4 points, or 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 11.75 points, or 0.09%.

Kohl’s Corp raised its forecast for 2021 sales, as the department store operator bets on a shopping boom but the outlook fell short of analysts’ estimates, sending its shares down 6.2%.

Ralph Lauren Corp dropped 3.5% after it forecast full-year sales below analysts’ estimates. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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