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Stock Futures Mixed as Apple Tumbles

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were trading mixed Thursday even after better-than-expected labor market data as Apple (AAPL) shares declined after the tech giant posted a disappointing revenue outlook.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 12 points, or 14.83 points above fair value, at 13,731. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 2 points, or 1.26 points below fair value, at 1488. Futures for the Nasdaq were falling 39.25 points, or 35.72 points below fair value, at 2719.

Apple shares dropped more than 10% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the tech giant's revenue trailed forecasts, earnings per share fell and profit margins shrank. Apple shares were plunging by more than 9% in premarket trading Thursday.

The market overall is maintaining a bullish tone, according to strategists, with the S&P 500 reaching new highs in trading the prior session.

"We've seen lots of talk about how over-extended the market is here and how 'bullish' everyone has become all of a sudden," said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer's. "My only take on this is we saw some similar scenarios last year around this time, yet the market continued to grind higher for several months. Could we be seeing a repeat of that? I wouldn't bet against it."

"From a technical perspective, the stock market appears to us to be in a fluid grind higher with extremely low price volatility, which is typical during strong intermediate-term advances," said Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ. "They take the form of a narrow rising channel where every little price dip is supported by demand and can frustrate investors waiting for a pullback to raise equity exposure."

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial jobless claims fell by 5,000 in the week ended Jan. 19 to 330,000, down from the previous week's unrevised figure of 335,000. Economists were expecting an increase to 355,000. The four-week moving average was 351,750, a decrease of 8,250 from the previous week's average of 360,000.

Continuing claims for the week ended Jan. 12 fell by 71,000 to 3.157 million, down from the prior week's upwardly revised level of 3.228 million.

"Claims data can be especially volatile around this time of year, reflecting huge swings in seasonal patterns," noted Maury Harris, an economist at UBS.

The Conference Board's leading economic indicators index is expected to show a rebound of 0.3% for December after a fall of 0.2% the prior month. The report is due at 10 a.m. EST.

"We believe there should have been two main positive contributions: jobless claims and stock prices," said Harris.

The FTSE in London was up 0.47% and the DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.02%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished down by 0.15%, and the Nikkei in Japan rose 1.28%.

Gold for February delivery was falling $10.80 at $1,675.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while March crude oil futures were up 25 cents at $95.48 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 5/32, lowering the yield to 1.811%. The dollar was rising 0.14%, according to the U.S. dollar index .

In corporate news, Netflix (NFLX) gained 2 million video-streaming subscribers in the U.S. during the fourth quarter, and posted a profit of $8 million during a period when analysts were expecting a loss. Shares were surging more than 39% in premarket trading.

3M (MMM) shares were trading sideways after the diversified technology company posted in-line fourth-quarter earnings of $1.41 a share and revenue of $7.4 billion, which beat the Wall Street sales estimate of $7.18 billion. Organic local-currency sales grew 4.3% in the period, and acquisitions added 0.9% to sales.

3M affirmed its 2013 full-year performance earnings expectations of $6.70 to $6.95 a share, with CEO Inge Thulin saying that 3M has "built good momentum to innovate and move forward in 2013."

Software giant Microsoft (MSFT) is expected by analysts Thursday to report fiscal second-quarter earnings of 75 cents a share on revenue of $21.6 billion. Shares were off 0.22%.

Delta (DAL) is talking to Airbus and Boeing (BA) about buying $1 billion or more of new jets as planemakers phase out their current single-aisle models, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Boeing shares were up fractionally.

Symantec's (SYMC) CEO Steve Bennett plans to cut at least 1,000 jobs as he aims to overhaul the antivirus software maker, according to Bloomberg. Shares were shedding close to 3%.

American depositary receipts of Amarin (AMRN) were rising 2.5% after the biopharmaceutical company announced the market introduction of Vascepa capsules to treat severe hypertriglyceridemia.

ITT Educational Services (ESI) shares were tumbling nearly 11% after the company reported disappointing quarterly results and gave full-year guidance that was below estimates.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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