December 22, 2016 / 12:29 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures little changed ahead of economic data

* Futures down: Dow 11 pts, S&P 2 pts, Nasdaq 4.25 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

Dec 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed in light trading on Thursday ahead of a host of economic data.

* Volumes have been muted this week just ahead of the holiday season, subjecting the market to pronounced movements.

* U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, with healthcare and real estate shares losing ground.

* The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly rose to within 15 points of 20,000, a level it has never reached. The blue-chip index has been threatening to breach the mark for the last several days, but has failed to do so.

* U.S. stocks have rallied since the Nov. 8 election, with the Dow up about 9 percent and the S&P 6 percent as investors expect the economy to benefit from President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for deregulation and infrastructure spending.

* Scheduled economic data includes durable goods orders, which is expected to have fallen 4.7 percent in November. The report is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT).

* The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to confirm that third-quarter gross domestic product increased at a 3.3 percent annualized rate.

* The Labor Department will report initial claims for state unemployment benefits, which likely rose 2,000 to 256,000 for the week ended Dec. 17.

* Consumer spending increased 0.3 percent in November after a similar increase in October, a report is expected to show. The data is due at 10 a.m. ET.

* Oil prices slipped in tepid trading, dragged down by an unexpected rise in U.S. crude inventories last week and moves by Libya to boost output over the next few months.

* Micron Technology shares jumped 10.6 percent to $22.77 in premarket trading after the chipmaker’s profit forecast beat expectations.

* Red Hat fell 10.6 percent to $71.30 after the Linux OS distributor’s quarterly revenue fell below estimates.

* Bed Bath & Beyond dropped 3.4 percent to $44, a day after the U.S. retailer’s quarterly profit missed analysts’ estimates.

Futures snapshot at 6:56 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were down 11 points, or 0.06 percent, with 11,490 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.09 percent, with 54,240 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 4.25 points, or 0.09 percent, on volume of 8,398 contracts. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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