Dow futures fall 75 pts; Micron results, 3Q GDP, jobless claims in focus

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Dow futures fall 75 pts; Micron results, 3Q GDP, jobless claims in focus

By Peter Nurse -- U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally lower Thursday, with disappointing earnings from chipmaker Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU ) weighing on sentiment ahead of the release of key growth and labor data.

At 07:00 ET (12:00 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 75 points or 0.2%, S&P 500 Futures traded 8 points or 0.2% higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 2 points or 0.2%.

Micron forecast a much steeper-than-expected second quarter loss after the close of trading on Wednesday, and said it will lay off 10% of its workforce next year, citing a significant supply-demand mismatch in the semiconductor market.

Micron stock fell 3% premarket.

The three major averages closed higher Wednesday, helped by healthy quarterly earnings from the likes of sportswear giant Nike (NYSE: NKE ), as well as a stronger-than-expected consumer confidence number.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose over 500 points or 1.6%, the broad-based S&P 500 climbed 1.5%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1.5%.

Still, despite these gains, it has been a difficult year on Wall Street as soaring inflation has resulted in the Federal Reserve aggressively raising interest rates, stoking concerns about an abrupt slowdown in economic growth.

The three main indices are all on course to post their worst yearly performance since 2008, breaking a 3-year win streak.

The U.S. central bank hiked interest rates last week by 50 basis points, slowing the pace of its rate increases, but added that its benchmark rate could rise above 5% before it's finished, higher than some expected just a few months ago.

The economic data calendar Thursday includes another print of third quarter gross domestic product , as well as weekly initial jobless claims , and investors will be looking for clues on how the economy is holding up in the face of the interest rate increases.

In other corporate news, earnings are due from used car retailer CarMax (NYSE: KMX ), while athletics apparel retailer Under Armour (NYSE: UAA ) has named Stephanie Linnartz, currently president at Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR ), as its next CEO.

Oil prices rose Thursday, climbing for the fourth straight session after U.S. inventories data pointed to tight supplies in the biggest consumer in the world ahead of the travel-heavy holiday season.

U.S. crude stocks fell by just under 6 million barrels in the week to Dec. 16, according to official data from the Energy Information Administration , released on Wednesday.

Helping the gains Thursday is the forecast for a deep chill to hit large parts of the United States, boosting the need for heating oil , with low temperatures expected as far south as Texas and Florida.

By 07:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.9% higher at $79.77 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 1.9% to $83.79.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,822.85/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.0619.

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