US STOCKS-Futures fall as Fed hints at 'taper talk'; jobless claims…

By Medha Singh

May 20 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell for the fourth session on Thursday following signs the Federal Reserve discussed tapering of bond purchases last month, while investors looked to weekly jobless claims numbers.

Leading losses among the 30 blue-chip Dow components was Cisco Systems Inc, down 6% premarket, after the network gear maker cautioned that supply chain issues will linger through the end of 2021 and forecast its current-quarter profit below estimates.

Economic data before the opening bell is likely to show the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to 450,000 in the week ended May 15, down for the third straight time in what could be the latest evidence of U.S.worker shortage.

Wall Street’s main indexes fell for the third consecutive session on Wednesday after minutes from Fed’s meeting last month indicated many policymakers thought it would be appropriate to discuss easing crisis-era support in upcoming meetings if the strong economic momentum is sustained.

However, many analysts viewed the statement as old news as economic data since then has showed an unexpected slowdown in the labor market, fanning inflation worries.

Bitcoin regained some lost ground to trade near $40,000, a day after a brutal selloff.Crypto-exchange operator Coinbase Global, [Redirect-302] miners Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital Holdings rebounded between 1% and 2% in sympathy with the digital coin.

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At 6:30 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 158 points, or 0.47%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 17.75 points, or 0.43%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 50 points, or 0.38%.(Reporting by Medha Singh and Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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