US STOCKS-Futures gain after sell-off; jobless claims due

* Investors shrug off Greece fears

* Jobless claims, productivity, cost data on tap

* Futures up: S&P 2.9 pts; Dow 20 pts; Nasdaq 2.75 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

NEW YORK, May 6 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures rose
on Thursday as investors looked for buying opportunities after
a sell-off that has driven the S&P 500 down 3 percent for the

* U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) sagged Wednesday as civil unrest intensified
in Greece and fears grew that the Greek debt crisis could
spread to other European economies. The euro hit a 14-month low
as investors shunned the debt of weaker euro zone countries and
jumped into safe havens like U.S. Treasury prices and the

* Investors will focus on weekly first-time claims for
jobless benefits due from the Labor Department at 8:30 a.m. EDT[1230 GMT] Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of
440,000 new claims, compared with 448,000 in the prior week.

* The Labor Department also releases preliminary
first-quarter productivity and unit labor cost data at 8:30
a.m. EDT (1230 GMT). Economists look for a rise of 2.5 percent
in productivity versus a 6.9 percent increase in the prior
period. Unit labor costs are expected to fall 0.7 percent
compared with a 5.9 decline in the previous report.

* Kraft Foods Inc (KFT.N: ) is due to report quarterly
results, and analysts expect earnings of 45 cents per share,
unchanged from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters

* S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) were up 2.9 points and above 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: ) gained 20
points, while Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) rose 2.75 points.

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday Europe’s
fate was at stake, while France declared the euro was under
speculative attack but that the attempts would fail. The Greek
government vowed not to retreat a single step despite violent
protests against the government’s plan to force spending cuts.
For details, see [ID:nLDE6451BI]

* The European Central Bank will be under pressure on
Thursday to show it can stop the Greek crisis from engulfing
other euro zone member states. The central bank is expected to
hold rates at a record low of 1.0 percent.

* Britons voted on Thursday in what looks like the closest
election since 1992. At stake is how the British economy can
recover from recession, and if the next government will reduce
a huge budget deficit to slow an upward spiral in the nation’s
debt. For details, see [ID:nLDE64429K]

* Oil workers, volunteers and the military prepared to toil
for another day in the Gulf of Mexico to plug a gushing oil
leak and protect the U.S. coast from an environmental

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking
into disclosures made by billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s
Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: ) as it sought to purchase
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp, the Wall Street Journal
reported, citing sources.

* BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA: ) revealed a $6.7 billion exposure to
Greece, the largest among major French banks, as worries over
contagion from Greece kept lenders under pressure. The bank
posted a profit that beat estimates on improved market
conditions and the integration of Fortis, and said the economic
recovery had begun. [ID:nLDE6442OD]


(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Futures gain after sell-off; jobless claims due