* Futures down: Dow 11 pts, S&P 2 pts, Nasdaq 4.25 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
Dec 22 U.S. stock index futures were little
changed in light trading on Thursday ahead of a host of economic
* Volumes have been muted this week just ahead of the
holiday season, subjecting the market to pronounced movements.
* U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, with healthcare and real
estate shares losing ground.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly rose to within 15
points of 20,000, a level it has never reached. The blue-chip
index has been threatening to breach the mark for the last
several days, but has failed to do so.
* U.S. stocks have rallied since the Nov. 8 election, with
the Dow up about 9 percent and the S&P 6 percent as investors
expect the economy to benefit from President-elect Donald
Trump's plans for deregulation and infrastructure spending.
* Scheduled economic data includes durable goods orders,
which is expected to have fallen 4.7 percent in November. The
report is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT).
* The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to confirm that
third-quarter gross domestic product increased at a 3.3 percent
* The Labor Department will report initial claims for state
unemployment benefits, which likely rose 2,000 to 256,000 for
the week ended Dec. 17.
* Consumer spending increased 0.3 percent in November after
a similar increase in October, a report is expected to show.
The data is due at 10 a.m. ET.
* Oil prices slipped in tepid trading, dragged down by an
unexpected rise in U.S. crude inventories last week and moves by
Libya to boost output over the next few months.
* Micron Technology shares jumped 10.6 percent to
$22.77 in premarket trading after the chipmaker's profit
forecast beat expectations.
* Red Hat fell 10.6 percent to $71.30 after the
Linux OS distributor's quarterly revenue fell below estimates.
* Bed Bath & Beyond dropped 3.4 percent to $44, a
day after the U.S. retailer's quarterly profit missed analysts'
Futures snapshot at 6:56 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were down 11 points, or 0.06 percent,
with 11,490 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.09
percent, with 54,240 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 4.25 points, or 0.09
percent, on volume of 8,398 contracts.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil