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Stock futures held slight gains on Thursday after a weekly reading on jobless claims remained low ahead of Friday's major U.S. jobs report.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.13%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 0.15%, and Nasdaq futures rose 0.25%.
The number of new claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. increased by 2,000 to 263,000 in the past week. Analysts had expected an increase to 265,000.
Productivity over the second quarter fell 0.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which came in as analysts had expected. Output increased 1.1%, while hours worked rose 1.7%.
The official jobs report for August, the most closely watched release of the month, will be out on Friday. Economists expect the pace of jobs growth in August to slow after blockbuster readings in June and July. Analysts at TD Securities expect 189,000 jobs to have been added to the U.S. economy, while the unemployment rate will dip to 4.8%. The U.S. economy added 255,000 jobs in July.
Stocks ended August on a dour note Wednesday as another selloff in crude oil pressured the energy sector and speculation over interest rates continued to cause jitters. The S&P 500 ended August with a slight monthly loss.
Campbell Soup (CPB) slipped 3% following a disappointing fourth quarter. The packaged food company swung to a loss of 26 cents a share from earnings of 5 cents a share a year earlier. Adjusted earnings of 46 cents a share missed consensus by 50 cents. Campbell's revenue of $1.687 billion came in short of consensus of $1.694 billion.
Joy Global (JOY) moved slightly lower after reporting a quarter in which weak demand for mining equipment hurt results. Total bookings fell 17%, dragged on by a 46% slump in original equipment orders. Japanese company Komatsu announced in July that it would purchase Joy Global for $2.9 billion.
Box (BOX) was 3% lower in premarket trading despite reporting a narrower quarterly loss than expected and a double-digit jump in revenue. The file-sharing developer reported a loss of 14 cents a share over its second quarter, a nickel narrower than forecast. Revenue jumped just over 30% to $95.7 million.
Salesforce.com (CRM) fell 7% in premarket trading after issuing light guidance for its current quarter. The cloud software developer expects current-quarter earnings of 20 cents to 21 cents a share on revenue no higher than $2.12 billion. Consensus was for earnings of 24 cents a share and sales of $2.124 billion.
Infoblox (BLOX) was on watch after narrowly beating profit and sales estimates over its recent quarter. The cybersecurity firm earned 8 cents a share, 2 cents above estimates, while revenue of $86.3 million bested estimates by $1.8 million. Infoblox jumped over Wednesday's session on reports it has begun the process of selling itself after pressure from activist investor Starboard Value.