US STOCKS-Wall St set to climb for second day after claims data
* Initial claims fall by 4,000
* Family Dollar falls after earnings
* Brent crude holds above $51 a barrel
* Futures up: Dow 157 pts, S&P 16 pts, Nasdaq 33.5 pts (Adds quote, data)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were poised for a higher open on Thursday, putting equities on track for a second day of gains after the S&P 500 snapped a five-day losing skid and data pointed to a labor market that continues to strengthen.
The benchmark S&P index climbed 1.2 percent on Wednesday, its biggest advance since Dec. 18, to snap its longest losing streak in about 13 months. That came after strong private sector jobs data and minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting reassured investors the bank was in no hurry to start raising interest rates.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 294,000 for the week ended Jan. 3, above the 290,000 estimate but below the 298,000 in the prior week.
"Jobless claims they were about in line, maybe a little weaker than expected but the jobs market still points to jobs growth," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. Continuación...