US STOCKS-Futures flat ahead of jobless claims data

* Futures: Dow up 12 pts; S&P, Nasdaq flat

* Jobless claims data expected at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT)

By Tanya Agrawal

April 9 (Reuters) – Dow Futures were little changed on Thursday ahead of job market and trade data, which might dictate the market’s next move as earnings season slowly kicks off.

* Data expected at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) includes weekly initial jobless claims, anticipated by investors for a pulse on the labor market’s health. At 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT), wholesale inventories numbers for February are due.

* The reports will continue to be the main focus for traders, as minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting released Wednesday indicated that the central bank remained on track for an interest rate hike this year, depending on data.

* Alcoa shares fell 2.7 percent in premarket trading after revenue lagged analysts’ estimates in the first quarter.

* Shares of Zynga lost 9.3 percent after announcing on Wednesday that Chief Executive Don Mattrick will step down and founder Mark Pincus will return to head the company.

* U.S.-traded shares of Novogen jumped 44 percent after the Australian drug company said studies confirmed a potential drug to treat melanoma, a type of skin cancer.

* Greece confirmed it will pay a 450 million euro loan tranche to the International Monetary Fund on Thursday, meeting a deadline and taking the immediate heat off the cash-strapped country.

Futures snapshot at 7:36 a.m. EDT (1136 GMT):

* S&P 500 e-minis were unchanged, with 80,357 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent, in volume of 15,987 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were up 12 points, or 0.07 percent, with 14,795 contracts changing hands.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal)

Dow Futures

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