US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat, "cliff" concerns temper data

jueves 13 de diciembre de 2012 10:11 GYT

* Worries over fiscal cliff keep investors cautious

* Initial jobless claims fell sharply last week

* Best Buy surges on report its founder to make buy offer

* Futures: S&P down 0.6 pt, Dow up 28 pts, Nasdaq down 2 pts (Updates with jobless claims and other data, adds comment, updates prices)

By Leah Schnurr

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open little changed on Thursday after data showed first time claims for jobless benefits fell sharply last week, but investors were cautious about making aggressive bets in the midst of ongoing "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

Shares of Best Buy Co surged more than 15 percent after a report that the company's founder is expected to make a fully financed offer to buy the consumer electronics retailer by the end of the week. Best Buy was up 15.5 percent at $14.07 in premarket trade.

In the European Union, finance ministers reached a deal to make the European Central Bank the bloc's top banking supervisor. The move could boost confidence in leaders' ability to tackle the region's sovereign debt crisis.

Still, equities gains were likely to be constrained as the set of tax hikes and spending cuts that are set to come into effect in the new year remained at the forefront of investors' minds. Negotiators on Wednesday warned the showdown over reaching a deal on the so-called fiscal cliff could drag on past Christmas.   Continuación...