National Association of Realtors to release data on pending home sales


U.S. stocks were set to open little changed Thursday, shrugging off a big drop in Japan and swings in European markets.

U.S. stock futures were mixed.

Asian markets ended with losses across the board.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index took a 5.2% plunge Thursday. It is now more than 10% off its peak and in a technical correction. The index had risen by well over 70% in less than a year.

European markets turned positive near midday after starting sharply lower.

U.S. investors head into Thursday awaiting the government’s weekly data on initial jobless claims and its second estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product.

In the first estimate, released last month, the government said the economy grew at a 2.5% annual rate in the first three months of the year, driven largely by a pick-up in consumer spending.

In corporate news, discount retailer Costco reported improved quarterly earnings that were slightly better than forecasts on a rise in revenue that fell just short of estimates.

Electric car maker Tesla will triple its network of rapid charging stations to allow drivers to go from Los Angeles to New York by year’s end, CEO Elon Musk announced at the All Things Digital conference in California late Wednesday. But Musk also said a mass-market Tesla, priced at about $30,000, is still three to five years away.

Shares of Tesla were lower in premarket trading Thursday.

U.S. stocks fell Wednesday, with the major indexes losing as much as 0.7%. The declines came as worries resurfaced about when the Federal Reserve might curtail its bond-buying program.

Shares of NV Energy surged in after-hours trading on news that MidAmerican Energy, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has agreed to acquire it. MidAmerican will pay $23.75 a share, a 23% premium to NV Energy’s Wednesday closing price of $19.28.