* Investors look to Yellen for insight into weather impact
* Jobless claims unexpectedly up, durable goods top forecasts
* Retailers look to rise after J.C. Penny, Best Buy results
* Futures: Dow up 2 pts, S&P up 0.1 pt, Nasdaq down 1.5 pt
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Thursday, with a better-than-expected read on durable goods helping to offset geopolitical uncertainty in Ukraine.
* Market moves may be slight ahead of comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who will address the Senate Banking Committee in a semiannual testimony about monetary policy at 10:00 a.m. EST (1500 GMT)
* Geopolitical tensions mounted after armed men seized the regional government headquarters and parliament in Ukraine’s Crimea and raised the Russian flag. Ukraine’s parliament appointed former economy minister Arseny Yatseniuk to be prime minister, while ousted leader Viktor Yanukovich said he was still president in a statement sent to Russian news agencies from an unknown location.
* In the latest economic data, orders for durable goods fell 1 percent in January, a drop that was less than had been forecast. However, jobless claims unexpectedly rose in the latest week.
* Recent data has largely come in under expectations, which many analysts have chalked up to the impact of weather instead of worsening fundamentals, a theory that has helped indexes shrug off the disappointments and send the S&P 500 to a record high earlier this week.
* Investors are especially looking for Yellen to address the weather issue in her testimony, which was itself delayed by a snowstorm. The market is also looking for confirmation the central bank will maintain its stimulus-trimming schedule, though no changes are expected to be announced in the testimony.
* There are concerns the data reflects a more bearish economic picture, and the S&P has struggled to break decisively above its 2013 year-end closing level of 1,848.36. If Yellen does not reassure market participants about the state of economic growth, trading could take a more pronounced turn to the downside.
* S&P 500 futures rose 0.1 point but remained 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 rose 2 points and Nasdaq 100 futures slid 1.5 point.
* In retail news, both J.C. Penney Co Inc and Best Buy Co Inc jumped in premarket trading after their results. Penney gained 24 percent to $7.38, while Best Buy rose 7.4 percent to $27.72.
* Penney late Wednesday forecast more improvement in its comparable sales and gross profit margin this fiscal year, while Best Buy posted adjusted earnings that topped forecasts.
* Retail stocks have performed well recently, rising for five straight sessions on the back of some strong results, including from Home Depot and Macy’s Inc.
* Also on Thursday, Sears Holding Corp reported a quarterly loss that narrowed from the year-ago period, sending shares up 7.7 percent to $43.50 before the bell, and Kohl’s Corp said it expected modest sales gains in its new fiscal year and reported a lower fourth-quarter profit.