* Fourth-qtr GDP up 2.1 pct vs previous estimate of 1.9 pct
* Weekly jobless claims fall less than expected
* Lululemon slumps after weak first-quarter outlook
* Futures down: Dow 8 pts, S&P 1 pt, Nasdaq 1.25 pts
(Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
March 30 U.S. stock futures pared losses,
setting up Wall Street to open little changed on Thursday as the
upwardly revised fourth-quarter GDP growth rate underscored
strength in the domestic economy.
Gross domestic product increased 2.1 percent, compared with
the previously reported 1.9 percent, the Commerce Department
said. The economy grew 3.5 percent in the third quarter.
The market has been choppy in the past few days as investors
look for new catalysts and ahead of first-quarter corporate
Investors have been assessing what the Republicans' failure
to pass a healthcare bill means for tax reform and the rest of
President Donald Trump's pro-growth agenda, hopes for which have
helped drive stocks to record highs.
The stock rally may be near its peak, according to a Reuters
poll of strategists, who forecast U.S. shares will gain less
than 3 percent between now and year-end. The S&P has risen 10.3
percent since the U.S. election.
The rapid climb in equities has raised concerns regarding
valuations, with the S&P 500 trading at nearly 18 times earnings
estimates for the next 12 months against its long-term average
of 15 times.
The market will be looking at quarterly earnings to see if
the lofty valuations can be supported. First-quarter earnings
for S&P 500 companies are expected to rise 10.1 percent,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"The market is looking for new catalysts in the form of
fresh policy news from the Trump administration that can help
regain the confidence in his pro-growth mandate after the
healthcare bill disappointment," said Andre Bakhos, managing
director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
"Investors are also looking ahead to earnings to see if
companies can deliver what the market has already priced in with
the current valuations."
Dow e-minis were down 8 points, or 0.04 percent,
with 15,091 contracts changing hands at 8:36 a.m. ET 91236 GMT).
S&P 500 e-minis were down 1 points, or 0.04 percent,
with 100,615 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 1.25 points, or 0.02
percent, on volume of 21,177 contracts.
Economic data showed that the number of Americans filing for
unemployment benefits fell less than expected last week, with
initial claims slipping 3,000 to 258,000 for the week ended
Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, Dallas Fed chief
Robert Kaplan, San Francisco Fed head John Williams and New York
Fed President William Dudley are all scheduled to make
On Wednesday, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he
favored further interest rate hikes this year, while Boston Fed
President Eric Rosengren said the Fed should raise rates three
more times in 2017.
Shares of Lululemon Athletica plunged 20.9 percent
to $52.42 in premarket trading after the Canadian yoga and
leisure apparel retailer said first-quarter comparable sales
were expected to fall.
ConocoPhillips rose 8.3 percent to $49.75 after the
company said it agreed to sell oil sands and western Canadian
natural gas assets to Cenovus Energy. Cenovus was down
7.9 percent at $12.04.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)