(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click or type LIVE/ in a news window. Updated at 8:45 a.m. ET/1245 GMT)
Weekly jobless claims rise
GameStop plunges on CEO exit
Futures: Dow off 0.09%, S&P up 0.03%, Nasdaq gains 0.16%
By Sruthi Shankar and Shristi Achar A
June 8 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were set to open slightly higher on Thursday as Treasury yields slipped after data showed weekly jobless claims rose more than expected, countering some concerns about further interest rate hikes.
The two-year Treasury yield, which tends to move in step with short-term rate expectations, slipped from one-week highs to 4.50% after a big jump in weekly jobless claims signaled a softening labor market.
Investors are focused on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting on June 13-14, and see a 68% chance of the U.S. central bank holding interest rates at the current 5%-5.25% range, according to CMEGroup's Fedwatch tool. They see a 50% chance of a rate hike in July.
"Our view remains that the Fed will pause in June, but leave the door open for a July hike, keeping it data dependent. Eventually we don't think the Fed will hike in July," Jefferies strategist Mohit Kumar said.
The benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed lower on Wednesday, with megacap stocks leading declines after the Bank of Canada (BoC) surprised markets with a rate hike, reminding investors that monetary tightening globally was far from over.
"They (BoC) do support our view that inflation would be sticky for longer than what central banks want which would rule out any cuts in 2023," Kumar said.
The U.S. Labor Department is due to release inflation data on June 13, the first day of the Fed meeting. The numbers are expected to show consumer prices cooled slightly in May but core prices remained sticky.
Growth stocks including Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc and Microsoft Corp inched higher in premarket trading after their recent run of losses, while Amazon.com Inc gained 1.4%.
Another big mover was GameStop Corp, whose shares tanked 22% as billionaire investor Ryan Cohen took over as executive chairman after the video-game retailer ousted its CEO and posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss.
As investors rotated out of growth stocks, the economically sensitive companies advanced, with the Russell 2000 index of small-cap firms jumping 1.8% to a three-month closing high on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones transports index notched a six-week high, while the KBW Regional Banking index closed at a more than two-month peak.
At 8:45 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 29 points, or 0.09%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.25 points, or 0.03%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 22.25 points, or 0.16%.
"(After) the incredible returns that anything related to AI has been able to produce, it's just normal profit-taking on the part of short-term traders looking for opportunities in areas of the market that haven't performed as well," said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth.
The CBOE Volatility index, also known as Wall Street's fear gauge, edged up after dropping to a pre-pandemic low of 13.77 on Wednesday.
Lucid Group rose 3.0% after the U.S. luxury electric vehicle maker's head of China operations, Zhu Jiang, said the company was preparing to enter the world's largest auto market.
Adobe added 1.8% after Piper Sandler raised its prices target on the stock to $500. The Photoshop software maker said it was offering its AI tool "Firefly" to large businesses. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)