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US STOCKS-Futures turn lower ahead of jobless claims report

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* Futures off: Dow 0.33%, S&P 0.32%, Nasdaq 0.37% (Adds comment; updates prices)

March 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures gave up early gains on Thursday ahead of data that is likely to show a drop in weekly jobless claims as the labor market continued to limp out of a coronavirus-induced recession.

The Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims report, the most timely indicator of economic health, is expected to show claims fell to 730,000 in the week ended March 20 from 770,000 in the previous week.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite has fallen this month as rosy economic projections lifted demand for undervalued stocks including energy, mining and industrial firms, but raised fears of higher inflation and a potential tax hike.

“It’s a tale of two different markets at this point and it depends on what the market wants to focus on,” said Faron Daugs, founder and chief executive officer of Harrison Wallace Financial Group.

“Does it want to focus on stimulus, increased vaccinations and re-opening economies or on potential taxes, increased regulation potentially in certain sectors, extremely high spending and inflation.”

In testimonies to Congress this week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell expressed optimism about a strong U.S. economic rebound, while Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said future tax hikes will be needed to pay for public investments.

Economically-sensitive bank stocks including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America gave up early gains to fall between 0.1% and 0.7% in premarket trading.

Heavyweight tech stocks Facebook Inc, Google parent Alphabet Inc and Twitter Inc fell between 0.4% and 2.1% ahead of their chief executives’ testimony before Congress about extremism and misinformation on their services.

At 8:14 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 107 points, or 0.33%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 12.5 points, or 0.32%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 47 points, or 0.37%.

Shares of Nike Inc fell 4.7% as the sporting goods giant faced a Chinese social media backlash over its comments about reports of forced labor in Xinjiang.

U.S.-listed shares of Baidu Inc, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and JD.Com Inc were subdued after the U.S. securities regulator adopted measures that would kick foreign companies off stock exchanges if they do not comply with U.S. auditing standards. (Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Arun Koyyur)

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