Futures point to slight rise on Wall Street

* Wall Street is set for a slightly higher open, ahead of
weekly jobless claims, and with the Federal Reserve’s decision
on monetary easing still the market’s main focus.
* At 0848 GMT, futures for the Dow Jones (DJc1: ), S&P 500
(SPc1: ) and Nasdaq (NDc1: ) were all up 0.1 percent.
* The FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of leading European
shares was up 0.4 percent at 1,085.35 points with France Telecom
(FTE.PA: ) among the companies to gain after reporting results.
* The dollar slipped on Thursday, relinquishing some of the
gains made earlier this week as U.S. Treasury yields pulled back
from a recent rise as investors continued to recalibrate
expectations for U.S. monetary easing.

* Most leading economists expect the Federal Reserve to buy
between $80 billion and $100 billion worth of assets per month
under a new program to bolster the struggling economy, a
Reuters poll found on Wednesday.

* Weekly initial jobless claims will earn a close look, in
part because the next Fed policy-setting meeting is before the
October employment report, making initial claims one of the last
jobs-related indicators the Fed might take into account. The
number of U.S. workers filing new claims for benefits is
expected to have ticked up slightly, to 453,000 from 452,000,
according to a Reuters survey of 46 economists.

* Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: ), the largest publicly traded oil
company, is expected to report higher quarterly profit and
production as crude oil prices rose from a year-ago and natural
gas output climbed.

* Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ) beat all analyst forecasts by
reporting an 18 percent jump in third-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.)s thanks to
higher oil and gas prices, setting a trend for the sector. The
shares rose 1 percent.
* Potash Corp (POT.TO: ), the world’s largest fertilizer maker
and object of BHP Billiton’s (BLT.L: ) $39 billion hostile bid,
reports quarterly results.

* Other companies due to report include 3M (MMM.N: ), Motorola
(MOT.N: ) and Colgate-Palmolive (CL.N: )

* U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) fell on Wednesday as investors scaled back
expectations of how aggressively the Fed would act to stimulate
the economy.

* However, they finished off lows as Broadcom (BRCM.O: ) led a
rally in techs after posting a rise in fourth-quarter revenue.

* The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) and The Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) fell 0.4 and 0.3 percent, respectively.
The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) gained 0.2 percent.

* Shares of Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS.N: ) rose 3.5 percent to
$42.50 on Wednesday after it posted results. Visa Inc (V.N: ) fell
1.3 percent after the bell following results.
(Reporting by Brian Gorman; Editing by Karen Foster)

Futures point to slight rise on Wall Street