Stocks May Move Modestly Lower In Early Trading

Following the mixed performance seen in the previous session, stocks may see modest weakness in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 11 points.

The Dow and the S&P 500 may extend the downward move seen over the two previous sessions, pulling back further off the record closing highs set on Monday.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq could also give back ground as some traders look to cash in on yesterday’s gains among tech stocks.

On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department recently released a report showing a modest uptick in first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended June 17th.

The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 241,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 238,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to edge up to 240,000 from the 237,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Shortly after the open, the Conference Board is scheduled to release its report on leading economic indicators in the month of May. The leading economic indicators index is expected to rise by 0.3 percent.

Among individual stocks, shares of Steelcase (SCS) are moving sharply lower in pre-market trading after the office furniture maker reported weaker than expected fiscal first quarter results and provided disappointing guidance.

Accenture (ACN) may also see early weakness after the consulting company reported fiscal third quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates but cut its full-year operating margin outlook due to a pension settlement charge.

On the other hand, shares of Oracle (ORCL) may see an early rally after the business software giant reported fourth quarter results that beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

After ending Tuesday’s trading mostly lower, stocks turned mixed over the course of the trading session on Wednesday. While the Nasdaq climbed firmly into positive territory, the Dow and the S&P 500 pulled…

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