US Futures Mixed Ahead of Weekly Jobless Claims Data, Retail Sales

U.S. stock futures were mixed Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq 100 lower and the S&P 500 higher, as markets waited for data on jobless claims and retail sales that could provide further incentive for the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

At 8:30 a.m. E.T. data are expected to show that jobless claims in the week ended March 7 were 309,000, down from 320,000 the preceding week. The consensus range is for claims between 292,000 and 320,000, according to data compiled by Econoday.

Retail sales in February, also out at 8:30 a.m., are expected to have gained 0.3% from a 0.8% drop in January. The consensus range is between a decline of 0.1% and a gain of 0.5%. Meanwhile, export prices in February are seen down 0.1% compared to a 2.0% decline in January while import prices are seen higher 0.2% compared to a 2.8% decline in January.

In equities, Acadia Pharmaceuticals ( ACAD ) dropped 22% in recent pre-market trade after delaying submission of the new drug application for its Parkinson’s disease psychosis treatment Nuplazid till the second half of 2015 instead of in Q1, as previously planned. Meanwhile, CEO Uli Hacksell resigned effective immediately. CFO Steve Davis was appointed interim CEO.

Lumber Liquidators ( LL ) meanwhile traded higher by 3% after trying to allay concerns about the safety of its products, according to a presentation that will be given at a call later Thursday. The retailer of hardwood flooring said it “stands by every single plank of wood and laminate we sell,” in response to a CBS 60 minutes report that claimed formaldehyde levels in its laminate flooring were unsafe. Lumber Liquidators also gave a Q1 guidance for sales that was well below analyst estimates.

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