US STOCKS-Wall St set to open lower on euro-zone disorder

* Euro-zone turmoil feeds fear of a correction

* U.S. weekly initial jobless claims rise

* Futures off: Dow 152 pts, S&P 19.5 pts, Nasdaq 32.75 pts

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

(Adds jobless claims data)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, May 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Wall St was set for a sharply
lower open on Thursday on growing fears recent share declines
triggered by euro-zone turmoil in the handling of the sovereign
debt crises could lead to a wider correction.

The recent slide has dragged the S&P 500 index 8.4 percent
lower from its 2010 closing high on April 23 and pushed the
benchmark index into negative territory for the year on
Wednesday.

May individual equity options and some options on stock
indexes stop trading at Friday’s close and expire on Saturday,
which may increase volatility.

The euro briefly fell one percent against the dollar to hit
the day’s lows, tracking stocks lower as concerns grew about
policy disarray in the euro zone.

A German ban on some forms of short-selling of stocks,
bonds and derivatives on Wednesday appeared to catch its
partners in the European Union off guard, and the fallout from
the decision continued.

“For Germany to come in and unilaterally make a decision to
affect the markets was seen as the first step toward dissolving
the EU,” said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor
Fitzgerald & Co. in San Francisco.

“There is a real fear factor going on here, it is
unraveling every day that the currency gets hit,” added Pado.

S&P futures sharply extended losses after breaking below
the 200-day moving average of around 1100, a key support
level.

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) fell 21.4 points and were below 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: ) dropped
152 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) lost 32.75 points.

Staples Inc (SPLS.O: ) shed 1.8 percent to $21.15 after the
top U.S. office products retailer gave a lackluster outlook for
the rest of its fiscal year, assuming only a modest U.S.
economic recovery. [ID:nN19260611]

Sears Holdings Corp’s (SHLD.O: ) first-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) slipped
38 percent, hit by weaker margins and slightly higher costs.
[ID:nSGE64J0FR]

Labor Department data on Thursday showed the number of U.S.
workers filing new applications for unemployment benefits
unexpectedly rose last week for the first time since early
April, increasing by 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 471,000
versus market expectations of 440,000. [ID:nN19248916]

Data expected later Thursday includes the Conference
Board’s report on April leading economic indicators and the
Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s May gauge of manufacturing
activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region at 10 a.m.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect a 0.2 percent
increase in leading indicators and a rise to 22 in the
Philadelphia Fed index.

Penny Stocks

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open lower on euro-zone disorder