US STOCKS-Futures flat before jobless claims data

 * Jobless claims seen edging lower from prior week
 * Volume expected to be low on quarter's last day
 * Berkshire Class B shares fall after Sokol resignation
 * Dow up 8 pts, S&P down 0.4 pt, Nasdaq down 0.5 pt
 * For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
 By Ryan Vlastelica
 NEW YORK, March 31 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures
were little changed on Thursday as investors looked ahead to
weekly jobless claims data on the final day of the first
quarter.
 * The week has been marked by some of the year's lowest
volumes as traders opt to ride recent winners amid global
risks. The S&P 500 is up 5.6 percent in the quarter, based on
Wednesday's close.
 * Initial jobless claims, due at 8:30 a.m. [1230 GMT], are
forecast at 380,000, a slight decline from the prior week.
Wednesday's reassuring ADP report on private payrolls kept
sentiment up for Friday's key government non-farm payrolls
report.
 * David Sokol, the man widely seen as the leading successor
to Warren Buffett to head up Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N: Quote, Profile, Research)
(BRKb.N: Quote, Profile, Research), has resigned after buying shares in chemical company
Lubrizol Corp (LZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) before pushing Buffett to acquire it.
Berkshire's Class B shares fell 2.6 percent to $83.25 in
premarket trading. For details, see [ID:nN30189928]
 * S&P 500 futures (SPc1: Quote, Profile, Research) fell 0.4 point and were even with
fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into
account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: Quote, Profile, Research) added 8
points and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: Quote, Profile, Research) slid 0.5 point.
 * February durable goods and factory orders data will be
released after the market opens; factory orders are seen rising
by a smaller amount than in the previous month.
 * Chicago PMI data and the New York ISM number, both for
March, will also be released.
 * Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) stepped up its rivalry with
Google Inc (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) on Thursday by filing a formal complaint
with the European Commission claiming Google systematically
thwarts Internet search competition. [ID:nN31223364]
 * The Macau unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said it is
being investigated by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures
Commission for alleged regulatory breaches, the latest twist in
a case that involves allegations of corruption and bribery.
Shares of Las Vegas Sands fell 3.7 percent to $41.85 before the
bell. [ID:nL3E7EV08W]
 * U.S. stocks rose for a second session on Wednesday with
activity dominated by some of the strongest-performing groups
in the first quarter, including energy and and small-cap
stocks.
 (Editing by Kenneth Barry)


US STOCKS-Futures flat before jobless claims data