* Oil prices continue to hover near 7-year lows
* Weekly jobless claims rise to five-month high
* Men’s Wearhouse slumps on forecast warning
* Futures up: Dow 28 pts, S&P 5.25 pts, Nasdaq 11.5 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
Dec 10 (Reuters) - U.S. futures were higher even as oil prices continued to hover around 7-year lows and investors await a rate hike decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Markets have had a bruising week so far as equities tracked oil prices. Brent futures are down more than 6 percent this week and having dipped below $40 per barrel there are renewed expectations it might test 2008’s low.
U.S. stocks closed lower on Wednesday in a choppy session as oil resumed its decline, fuelling investor worries about global economic growth.
“The market will continue to watch oil carefully and we can expect a mixed to positive session if we don’t see any wild swings in oil prices like we did yesterday,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.
“Investors are awaiting Fed’s decision, and there has been some portfolio repositioning ahead of the meeting and that’s one reason the market has been erratic.”
The central bank meets on Dec. 15-16, when it is expected to raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade.
Traders are pricing in an 85 percent chance of a rate hike next week, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch.
S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.25 points, or 0.26 percent, with 227,707 contracts traded at 8:35 a.m. ET (1335 GMT). Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 11.5 points, or 0.25 percent, on volume of 29,592 contracts. Dow e-minis were up 28 points, or 0.16 percent, with 24,929 contracts changing hands.
Data showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose to a five-month high of 282,000 last week, but likely does not signal a deterioration in the labor market as the underlying trend remained consistent with tightening conditions.
Separately, U.S. import prices dropped 0.4 percent last month after a revised 0.3 percent decrease in October, as the cost of petroleum continued to decline.
The Treasury Department is likely to post a budget deficit of $68 billion in November, compared to a gap of $136 billion in the previous month. That data is expected at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Men’s Wearhouse shares slumped 23.4 percent to $14.22 in premarket trading, a day after the men’s apparel retailer warned it may miss lower end of its forecast.
First Solar was down 8.8 percent at $53.70 after the solar company’s 2016 forecast came in below analysts’ expectations.
GoPro was up 2.4 percent at $17.30, while Yum Brands fell 0.14 percent to $73.70 after the company’s same-restaurant sales in China fell about 3 percent in November. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)