US STOCKS-Wall St set to open lower as investors assess data
* Weekly jobless claims fall to 249,000 vs. est. 257,000
* Wal-Mart drops after issuing flat profit forecast for next year
* Tesla falls after Goldman Sachs downgrade
* Futures down: Dow 33 pts, S&P 4.25 pts, Nasdaq 8.5 pts (Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Oct 6 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open slightly lower on Thursday as strong economic data and comments from Federal Reserve officials suggested monetary policy could be tightened by the end of the year.
A report showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to a near 43-year low, indicating firmness in the labor market.
The data comes ahead of a crucial monthly jobs report that will help determine the path of interest rates.
A growing number of Fed officials have argued for higher rates as the labor market remains robust and inflation inches towards the central bank's 2 percent target. Continuación...