US STOCKS-Wall Street to open slightly up on jobless data

* Initial jobless claims dip

* Same-store sales better than expected

* Futures: Dow off 2 pts, S&P up 0.2 pt, Nasdaq up 1.5 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Adds initial claims data)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Sept 2 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a slightly higher open on Thursday after Wall
Street’s best day in eight weeks as initial jobless claims
showed a small decline last week.

First-time claims for state unemployment benefits dropped
for a second straight week, slipping 6,000 to a seasonally
adjusted 472,000 in latest week. For details, see
[ID:nN02194957]

The report comes before Friday’s key nonfarm payroll
report, which investors will eye for signals on the strength of
the economy.

“Considering the volatility that they’ve had the last
couple of months, it’s nice to see consistent numbers,” said
Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook
Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois. “But (with) a lot of that,
we are talking about seasonal adjustments, the census stuff, so
it kind of makes sense that things have leveled out.

“I would say if we are able to hold even through the day,
and hold on to (Wednesday’s) gains, that is a good sign
actually, that we don’t have some profit taking set in.”

Later Thursday factory orders will be reported and are
expected to show an increase of 0.3 percent, rebounding from a
decline of 1.2 percent in June. Also due are pending home
sales, seen falling 1 percent after dropping 2.6 percent to a
record low the previous month. The data will come at 10 a.m.
EDT. (1400 GMT)

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) rose 0.2 point and were slightly
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: )
were off 2 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) added 1.5
points.

U.S. retailers posted better-than-expected sales in August
as consumers sought out bargains during the key back-to-school
selling season. [ID:nN02146293]

Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O: ), the largest U.S. warehouse
club operator, reported a 7 percent rise in August same-store
sales, aided by a surge in gasoline prices and foreign currency (Read more about trading foreign currency.
gains. [ID:nSGE681069]

Costco shares gained 1.1 percent to $58.45 in premarket
trade and retailer Kohl’s Corp advanced 1 percent to $48.90
after it reported same-stores sales above estimates.

Burger King Holdings Inc (BKC.N: ) jumped 20 percent to
$22.80 premarket after cable business channel CNBC reported a
buyout deal for the No. 2 U.S. hamburger chain by investment
firm 3G Capital, valued at $24 per share, or about $4 billion.
[ID:nN02193380]
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Wall Street to open slightly up on jobless data