) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a mixed open Thursday, as the market absorbed an unexpected rise in initial jobless claims and news of

Steve Jobs' resignation as CEO of


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Futures for the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

were up by 16 points, or 17 points below fair value at 11,284. Futures for the

S&P 500

were higher by 3 points, or 1 point below fair value, at 1175, and


futures were off by 7 points, or 13 points below fair value.

In a statement released after Wednesday's close, Steve Jobs, who has been on a medical leave of absence since earlier this year, said he is stepping down from his position as CEO to be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook. Jobs will continue to serve as chairman of Apple's board.

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Apple shares were losing 4.1% to $360.50 during early trading.

Stocks surged to finish near session highs Wednesday as a plunge in gold prices and a lack of negative headlines cleared the way for investors to take riskier bets.

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The FTSE in London was shedding 0.04% while the DAX in Frankfurt was adding 0.8%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.5%, as did Japan's Nikkei.

The Labor Department said the number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time unexpectedly rose by 5,000, to 417,000 claims in the week ended Aug. 20, from last week's upwardly-revised level of 412,000. The increase dashed forecasts for a decreased of 8,000, to 400,000 claims.

Big Lots

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reported an 8% decline in second-quarter profit and a 1.5% drop in same-store sales. Excluding the impact of its Canadian operations, the retailer recorded non-GAAP income from continuing operations of 52 cents a share on sales of $1.17 billion.

Consensus estimates, which exclude non-recurring items, had called for earnings of 44 cents a share on sales of $1.16 billion.

Shares of


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were gaining 4.8% to $77.24 ahead of Thursday's opening bell. The maker of Guinness beer and Johnnie Walker whiskey said full-year profit rose 17% to 1.9 billion pounds ($3.11 billion) and sales gained 2% to 9.94 billion pounds.

The world's largest spirits company credited the gains to expanded operating margins and improved mix across emerging markets and North America.

The October crude oil contract was gaining 60 cents to trade at $85.76 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodity markets, gold for December delivery was shedding $45.20 to trade at $1,712.10 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 7/32, diluting the yield to 2.275%. The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index down by 0.2%.


-- Written by Melinda Peer in New York


Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.