Wall Street to extend record on Yellen, Cisco drags Nasdaq

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Dow and S&P 500 were on track to set fresh record highs at the open on Thursday, extending gains from late in the previous session after the release of remarks from Federal Reserve chair nominee Janet Yellen, while a slide in Cisco shares weighed on Nasdaq futures.

Cisco Systems (CSCO.O ) shares tumbled 12.7 percent in premarket trading after it warned its revenue would dive as much as 10 percent this quarter and keep contracting until after the middle of 2014, due to a backlash against U.S. government spying in emerging markets like China.

The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing at 10:00 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) on the nomination of the Fed’s current vice chair, Janet Yellen, to head the U.S. central bank. Yellen’s remarks, released Wednesday, were perceived by the market as dovish and supportive of the policies that have helped the S&P 500 rally 24.9 percent so far this year.

“The focus is on Yellen’s testimony and whether she will be as dovish in the Q&A as she was in her written comments,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.

S&P 500 futures rose 2 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures edged up 7 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 8 points.

The Dow and the S&P 500 ended at record highs on Wednesday as strong results from Macy’s (M.N ) lifted consumer shares and in anticipation of remarks by Janet Yellen, likely to become the first woman to lead the Fed.

Wal-Mart (WMT.N ) shares fell 1.7 percent in premarket trading after the world’s largest retailer reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales, hurt by an unexpected decline in U.S. comparable sales and a competitive retail environment.

Kohl’s Corp (KSS.N ) shares dropped 8.1 percent in premarket trading after the department store chain reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter results as sales at stores open for more than a year fell.

Futures had a muted reaction to data showing the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, but claims for the prior week were revised to show 5,000 more applications than previously reported.

Overseas, data showed the euro zone economy grew at a slower than expected 0.1 percent rate in the third quarter, which could hurt appetite for equities.

Fairholme Capital Management proposed to buy the insurance businesses of Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB ) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB ), a move that seeks to resolve the uncertain future of the mortgage financiers.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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