Stocks lost altitude Thursday as Adobe's ( ADBE) revenue warning and firming oil weighed on premarket sentiment. Index futures showed the S&P 500 trading 2 points below fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 7-point slide. The 10-year Treasury bond was up 1/32 in price to yield 4.69%, while the dollar was higher against the yen and euro. The dollar staged a minor rebound this week as traders digested Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's optimism on the economy. Fed policymakers are expected to carry out another quarter-point interest rate hike next week, then one and perhaps two more hikes in meetings through June. After bell Wednesday, Adobe reported a 31% decline in first-quarter earnings, although the results topped estimates. Looking ahead, however, the software maker put its second-quarter profit at 30 cents to 32 cents a share on sales of $640 million to $670 million. Analysts were forecasting 32 cents a share and $675.7 million. The other big tech story is Dell's ( DELL) purchase of Alienware, a high-end PC maker whose machines are a favorite of game players. The price of the transaction wasn't disclosed. Oil, which followed a 10-cent plunge in gasoline prices lower Wednesday, was slightly higher in electronic Nymex trading. May crude was recently up 33 cents to $62.10 a barrel ahead of an Energy Department report that is expected to show a 24 billion-cubic-foot drawdown in natural gas inventories later in the session. Overseas markets were mixed, with London's FTSE 100 recently down 0.2% to 5994 and Germany's Xetra DAX little changed at 5934. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei held steady overnight at 16,489, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.8% to 15,731. Blue chips enter trading Thursday at their best levels since May 2001. For the year to date, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 5.6% to 11,317, while the S&P 500 has risen 4.4% to 1305 and the Nasdaq Composite is up 4.4% to 2303. To view David Peltier's video take on today's premarket action,
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Thursday's economic calendar includes initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST and existing home sales at 10 a.m. Economists are predicting a rate of 6.5 million homes in the latter report. In company news, Scholastic's ( SCHL) loss widened to $15.5 million, or 37 cents a share, in its third quarter, compared with $800,000, or 2 cents a share, last year. The company blamed promotional expenses for the latest-period loss, which was 30 cents worse than expected. KB Home ( KBH) said first-quarter earnings rose 42% from a year ago to $174.5 million, or $2.02 a share, beating estimates by 6 cents. The homebuilder reported lower orders in the period but backed full-year profit guidance. In analyst action, Prudential upgraded Conoco ( COP) and Marathon ( MRO), while UBS raised Yahoo! ( YHOO) to buy.