* Cisco slides after disappointing forecast
* Initial jobless claims jump
* S&P 500 futures off 7.60 points, Dow futures off 70
points, Nasdaq futures off 18 points
* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US]
(Adds details, recasts)
By Leah Schnurr
NEW YORK, Feb 5 Wall Street was poised for a
lower open on Thursday as a jump in new claims for unemployment
benefits to a 26-year high signaled a deteriorating economy,
while grim corporate earnings and outlooks also dragged.
Government data showed the number of U.S. workers filing
initial jobless claims jumped last week, a day before Friday's
key January U.S. nonfarm payrolls report. For details see
"Not good," said Frank Lesh, futures analyst and broker at
FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago of the claims numbers.
"There's some selling in the markets on it. I think this is
a precursor for tomorrow, and maybe tomorrow's numbers will be
pushed up after people see this."
Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O), which makes infrastructure for
the Internet, could weigh on the Nasdaq after it forecast a
slide of up to 20 percent in current quarter revenue.
[ID:nN03526527] Shares of the tech bellwether slid 4.2 percent
to $15.17 before the opening bell.
S&P 500 futures SPc1 fell 7.60 points and were below fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures DJc1 were down
70 points, and Nasdaq 100 NDc1 futures lost 18.00 points.
Stocks fell on Wednesday as a gloomy profit forecast from
Kraft Foods KFT.N fueled worries of weakening consumer
spending while investors feared that government efforts to
rescue banks could wipe out their shareholders.
Unease about the deteriorating earnings picture and
uncertainty about the banking sector are major hurdles in the
market's bid to recover from an 11-year low hit on Nov. 21. The
S&P 500 is up 4 percent since then, but is down about 8 percent
since the start of 2009.
State Street (STT.N) slashed its dividend and forecast 2009
operating earnings per share could fall as much as 16 percent.
The financial services company's shares edged up 0.5 percent at
$24.25 after initially falling in premarket trade.
The financial sector has also been pressured by worries
about what shape a government plan to relieve banks of
money-losing assets could ultimately take. The Obama
administration is due to make an announcement next week.
Discount retailer Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N) bucked the trend
of lower January sales with numbers that surpassed
expectations, sending its shares up almost 2 percent at $47.32.
Wall-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, said it would now
provide sales forecasts four times a year instead of monthly.
(Editing by James Dalgleish)