U.S. indices are set to open lower Thursday as jobless claims moved to 264,000 for the week of June 4, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week. Forecasters had predicted 270,000 new claims, according to Bloomberg. Initial jobless claims rose in late April through mid-May, but moved back to 268,000 (revised upward from 267,000) for the last week of the month. According to the Deparment of Labor, this marks 66 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1973.
It was a down day across other world markets, with all the Asian markets closing in the red. European markets also indict a lower close, with the CAC 40, FTSE 100 and DAX showing losses of at least 0.8%.
Envision Healthcare (EVHC) shares were soaring in premarket trading, up by more than 8%, on news that it is discussing a merger with AmSurg (AMSG). The companies are reportedly in advanced discussions and a deal could be announced as early as next week, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The merger would bring together two major providers of physician and other health-care services, worth $9 billion combined, the Journal reported.
Shares of Restoration Hardware Holdings (RH) plummeted before the bell, dropping more than 19%, after reporting worse-than-expected quarterly results. The California-based home goods store slashed its profit projects for the year after seeing a fiscal first-quarter loss of $13.5 million, or $0.33 per share. In a statement, the retailer said the poor results were due to energy- and currency-related headwinds and a slowdown in the luxury consumer market. For the full fiscal year, Restoration Hardware estimates adjusted earnings of $1.60 to $1.80 per shares, which is lower than analysts' forecasts of $2.66 per share.
Shares of Apple (AAPL) were down before the bell. This follows news that the company will start showing paid ads when people search for applications in its mobile store. Consumers will see the changes this summer. Apple said Wednesday that the news ads will help app-makers get more visibility for their products. The tech giant also said it will improve the search tool that helps users find new apps.
Apple is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts Plus portfolio.
Boston Scientific (BSX) shares look to open high Thursday after announcing a global restructuring plan. The move will save around $115 million to $150 million annually by 2020. The medical device developer said it expects some employee attrition and target headcount reductions, but added that its overall employee base will remain relatively unchanged.
-- Written by Anders Keitz