June 9, 2016 / 11:39 AM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures down as oil falls; jobless claims data awaited

* Futures down: Dow 43 pts, S&P 6.5 pts, Nasdaq 12 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

June 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Thursday as a rally in oil prices ended, and ahead of weekly jobless claims data, the first labor report since dismal May payrolls numbers jolted markets last Friday.

* Oil fell nearly 1 percent as traders took profits after prices rose for three days in a row following a weakening dollar. The dollar has fallen since the monthly jobs report reduced the chances of an interest rate hike in the near term.

* The weaker dollar not only boosts commodities, but is beneficial to U.S. multinationals that derive a large portion of their sales from overseas.

* The stock markets have rallied the past three days. The Dow closed above the 18,000 mark on Wednesday for the first time since April. The S&P 500 is less than 1 percent shy of its record intraday high.

* A report due 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) is likely to show initial jobless claims increased by 3,000 to 270,000 last week.

* Investors will parse the data to gauge if May’s weaker-than-expected jobs report was a blip or was a sign of an underlying weakness in the labor market.

* While Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the report was disappointing, she painted a broadly upbeat picture of the economy. But she was vague on the timing of the next interest rate hike.

* Yellen’s comments Monday have all but erased the prospects of a rate hike when the Fed meets next week, but her upbeat comments on the economy have boosted investor sentiment.

* Oracle fell 1.6 percent to $38.64 premarket after a U.S. judge rejected the company’s bid to overturn a jury verdict in favor of Google parent Alphabet.

* Restoration Hardware dropped 20 percent to $28.80 after issuing a weak forecast.

* Chesapeake Energy fell 5.4 percent after RBC downgraded the stock. The natural gas producer was the biggest loser among S&P components.

Futures snapshot at 7:16 a.m. EDT:

* Dow e-minis were down 43 points, or 0.24 percent, with 17,334 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 6.5 points, or 0.31 percent, with 159,800 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 12 points, or 0.27 percent, on volume of 18,490 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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