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US STOCKS-Futures edge higher ahead of weekly jobless claims report

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* Futures up: Dow 0.28%, S&P 0.35%, Nasdaq 0.52%

Feb 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures gained on Thursday, just shy of new all-time highs as investors looked to data that is expected to show a fourth consecutive decline in weekly jobless claims.

The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits dipped to 757,000 last week, according to economists polled by Reuters, but it would still remain elevated as long-term unemployment is likely becoming entrenched.

Wall Street’s main indexes had hit record highs recently on prospects of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package to jumpstart the economy with market participants pivoting to economy-linked energy and bank stocks from tech-related names.

Fourth-quarter earnings have also largely topped analysts’ expectations, quelling fears of lofty valuations.

Pictet Group’s asset management arm expects the S&P 500 to rise 10% from its current levels with improving economic growth and easy monetary policy helping to extend its rally.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reassured investors on Wednesday that interest rates will remain low for some time to spur the economy and jobs growth, but provided no new insights on monetary policy.

At 6:28 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 89 points, or 0.28%, S&P 500 E-minis were up 13.5 points, or 0.35%. Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 70.5 points, or 0.52%.

Pinterest Inc rose 7.8% after a report said Microsoft Corp approached the image-sharing company in recent months about a potential buyout. The negotiations were, however, currently not active, according to the report.

PepsiCo Inc rose 0.6% in light volumes after the snack and beverage giant topped analyst estimates for fourth-quarter revenue and said it expects organic revenue to grow in 2021 as economies reopen and COVID-19 vaccinations roll out.

Casino operator MGM Resorts dropped about 4% after posting a bigger-than-expected loss, hurt by COVID-19 travel restrictions but signaled a pickup in demand later this year. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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