US STOCKS-Futures sluggish; eyes on tax bill talks and General Electric

Reuters

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* Futures: Dow down 13 pts, S&P up 1.5 pts, Nasdaq up 15.75 pts By Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman Dec 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a dull opening on Thursday with technology stocks holding on to their modest gains as traders focus on progress in tax bill negotiations and General Electric's job-cut plan. *GE GE.N shares rose 0.6 percent to $17.76 in premarket trading after the struggling industrial conglomerate said it was axing 12,000 jobs at its global power business. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N1O70MK * Shares of tech giants Microsoft Corp MSFT.O , Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O , Facebook Inc FB.O , Apple Inc AAPL.O and Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O were up about 0.3 percent to 0.6 percent. * Other early movers include Broadcom AVGO.O , which gained 5 percent after reporting upbeat profit and boosting its dividend by 72 percent, days after the chipmaker took its $103 billion bid for Qualcomm QCOM.O hostile. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1O65CK * Lululemon Athletica LULU.O rose about 8 percent after the Canadian yoga and leisure apparel maker reported a higher-than-expected profit and gave an upbeat holiday-quarter forecast. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1O65DY * U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday agreed to talks with the House of Representatives on the tax bill on Wednesday, amid early signs that lawmakers could agree on a final bill ahead of a self-imposed Dec. 22 deadline. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1O61VT * However, a gridlock between President Donald Trump and Congress over the passage of fresh spending legislation before Friday has raised fears of partial shut down of the federal government. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N1O61LC * Oil prices rose more than half a percent after dipping 2 percent on Wednesday as a fall in U.S. crude inventories was countered by soaring output and a rise in fuel stocks. O/R * Data is expected to show weekly initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose to 240,000 from 238,000 in the week before. The report is due 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT). Futures snapshot at 6:51 a.m. ET: * Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 13 points, or 0.05 percent, with 19,224 contracts changing hands. * S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 1.5 points, or 0.06 percent, with 122,705 contracts traded. * Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 15.75 points, or 0.25 percent, on volume of 29,337 contracts. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur) ((sruthi.shankar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6328; Reuters Messaging: sruthi.shankar.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: USA STOCKS/

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