Wall Street futures signal flat to higher open

* U.S. stock index futures signalled a flat to slightly
higher open for Wall Street on Thursday, following a late
rebound in the previous session, with the S&P 500 futures (SPc1: )
up 0.1 percent, while the Dow Jones industrial average futures
(DJc1: ) and Nasdaq futures (NDc1: ) traded flat by 0857 GMT.

* U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) staged a comeback on Wednesday, breaking a
four-day losing streak by major indexes, as key technical
support triggered bargain-hunting. That offset weak economic
data which showed durable goods orders in July rose far less
than anticipated and new home sales for the same month slumped
to a record slow pace. [ID:nN25121445]

* Some caution is expected to linger over the outlook for
the economy, with investors likely to focus on weekly jobless
claims data at 1230 GMT to gauge the health of the labour
market.

* Other significant macroeconomic data due for release
include the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s monthly
manufacturing index for August at 1500 GMT and the Chicago
Federal Reserve Bank’s Midwest manufacturing data for July at
1600 GMT.

* As concerns remain over the pace of the economic recovery,
central bankers from around the world will assess the darkening
economic outlook at their annual U.S. mountain retreat this week
with discussion of printing yet more money to spur growth on the
agenda. [ID:nN2485884]

* In company news, BHP Billiton’s (BHP.AX: ) (BLT.L: ) chief
executive flies to North America this week to crank up the charm
offensive with Potash Corp (POT.TO: ) shareholders after dousing
expectations he would sweeten a $39 billion bid for the
fertiliser giant. [ID:nSGE67P07X]

* A U.S. judge on Wednesday refused to block sales of a
generic version of Sanofi-Aventis SA’s (SASY.PA: ) blood thinner
marketed by Novartis AG’s (NOVN.VX: ) Sandoz unit and Momenta Inc
(MNTA.O: ).

* Despite launching a global campaign to revive its
banged-up brand, UBS’s (UBS.N: ) U.S. brokerage faces another
costly and embarrassing wave of regulatory actions.
[ID:nN25273736]

* The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, which plans to open 2,000
of its Las Vegas Strip hotel rooms in mid-December, has linked
up with Marriott International Inc (MAR.N: ), giving it
much-needed access to a database of customers. [ID:nN25152730]

* Guess Inc (GES.N: ) on Wednesday missed analysts’
expectations for its full-year profit forecast and warned that
the economy in many markets remained uncertain, sending its
shares down nearly 6 percent. [ID:nN25155031]

* Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O: ) said on Wednesday that more of its
new third generation Kindles were ordered in the first month of
availability than any previous models. [ID:nN25155061]

* Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (AAPL.O: ) is expected to show off a snazzier line
of iPods on Sept. 1, as speculation mounts the consumer
electronics giant may also unveil plans to reinvigorate its
long-neglected TV project. [ID:nN25150386]

* Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) (GOOG.O: ) said users of Gmail will now be able
to call telephones directly from their email, putting it in
direct competition with Web calling service Skype and more
traditional operators such as AT&T Inc (T.N: ) and Verizon
Communications (VZ.N: ). [ID:nN25144524]

* An Idaho judge ruled late Tuesday that a rural highway
could not be used to move giant replacement units to
ConocoPhillips (COP.N: ) Billings, Montana, refinery.
[ID:nN25166645]

* Among firms to report earnings on Thursday include J Crew
(JCG.N: ), Regis Corp (RGS.N: ) and Signet Jewelers (SIG.N: ).

* In Europe, shares bounced back from a five-week low as
upbeat corporate results boosted investor sentiment. The
pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) was up 0.5 percent at
1,016.06 points by 0857 GMT.
(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal; Editing by Erica Billingham)

Wall Street futures signal flat to higher open