* 4-week jobless claims at lowest since April 2000
* Lumber Liquidators plunges after CEO resigns unexpectedly
* Best Buy rises; NetApp falls after results
* CVS up on $10.1 bln Omnicare deal
* Futures down: Dow 23 pts, S&P 2.75 pts, Nasdaq 10.50 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
May 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open slightly lower on Thursday after weekly U.S. jobless claims rose more than expected, and a day after minutes from the Federal Reserve meeting bolstered the view that rates would stay near zero until later this year.
While the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose slightly more than expected last week, the four-week moving average was the lowest since April 2000, continuing to suggest the labor market was tightening.
That gives weight to the opinion of most central bank officials who agreed that economic growth would climb to a healthier pace and the labor market would strengthen, according to minutes from the Fed’s April 28-29 meeting.
Fed officials believed it would be premature to raise rates in June, even though most felt the U.S. economy was set to rebound from a dismal start to the year.
Data measuring the growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector in May is due at 9:45 a.m. ET (1345 GMT) and 15 minutes later the National Association of Realtors data is expected to show that sales of used homes increased last month.
“There is a malaise in the market as investors re-adjust their expectations of a Fed hike,” said Andrew Barber, chief market strategist at Eagleview Capital in Delaware.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 2.75 points and their fair value - a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract - indicated a lower open.
Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures fell 23 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures lost 10.50 points.
“The consensus is probably for a tightening in September, though an increasing number of people think there will be no hike in 2015 as economic data remains weak,” said Barber.
The Fed has kept interest rates at near zero for almost a decade, which has made funds cheaper and helped the stock market reach record highs.
The S&P 500 hit a record intraday high on Wednesday. The Dow, which had closed at record highs in the previous two sessions, was also briefly on track for another all-time high close.
Salesforce.com shares rose 3.7 percent to $72.77 in premarket trading after the cloud software company, the subject of takeover speculation for the past few weeks, reported a profit for the first time in seven quarters. [ID:nL3N0YB57D
Lumber Liquidators shares plunged 16.1 percent to $21.21 after the hardwood flooring retailer’s chief executive resigned unexpectedly.
NetApp fell 12.26 percent to $31 after the data storage equipment maker reported lower-than-expected quarterly results and cut about 500 jobs.
Best Buy jumped 5.5 percent to $35.64 after the consumer electronics chain reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales.
CVS Health was up 1.6 percent at $102.90 after it said it would buy pharmacy service provider Omnicare for $10.1 billion. Omnicare shares rose 1.1 percent to $95.71.
Hewlett-Packard, Intuit and Gap are scheduled to report results after the close. (Editing by Savio D‘Souza)