December 19, 2019 / 2:22 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Wall St shrugs off impeachment, jobless data; set for flat open

* Weekly jobless claims fall from over two-year high

* Micron up 4% after signaling 2020 recovery

* Conagra jumps on strong quarterly results

* Futures: Dow up 0.05%, S&P off 0.09%, Nasdaq down 0.06% (For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

By Uday Sampath Kumar

Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open largely unchanged on Thursday as investors shrugged off a dip in jobless claims and looked past the impeachment of President Donald Trump, who is unlikely to be removed from office.

On Wednesday, Trump became the third U.S. president to be impeached, but the Republican-controlled Senate is widely expected not to convict him. No U.S. president has been removed from office in the country’s 243-year history.

“I was not paying attention to it. If it looked like the Senate were going to vote him guilty, then it would be a different story,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

The S&P 500 snapped a record-setting rally on Wednesday, after closing at all-time highs every day for four straight sessions on a breakthrough in trade talks between Beijing and Washington and hopes for a smoother Brexit.

The benchmark index has hit record highs for five consecutive sessions, its longest streak since January 2018, as the outlook on domestic growth remains largely optimistic.

Data on Thursday showed that the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped from more than a two-year high last week.

But with no major update on the U.S.-China trade war or economic policy decision expected in what’s left of 2019, analysts said the market had little incentive to move much from current levels.

Trading volumes are also expected to taper off ahead of the Christmas holidays.

“The market seems to be stalling out, unless people start to use that as a reason to take some money off the table, which I don’t necessarily see happening,” Pavlik said.

At 9:01 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 13 points, or 0.05%. S&P 500 e-minis were down just 3 points, or 0.09% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 5.25 points, or 0.06%.

In corporate earnings news, Conagra Brands Inc rose 6.9% after the Slim Jim maker beat quarterly sales and profit estimates.

Micron Technology Inc gained 3.9% after signaling a recovery in its business in 2020 and saying it had received licenses to supply some products to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd .

Shares of Match Group, which owns the dating app Tinder, rose 2.9% after the company’s parent IAC said it would offload its entire stake.

Reporting by Uday Sampath and Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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