* Initial claims climb in latest week
* CPI posts biggest drop since 2008
* Durable goods orders top expectations
* Salesforce.com climbs after results, outlook
* Futures: Dow off 12 pts, S&P 0.25 pt, Nasdaq up 6 pts (Adds quote, data)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Feb 26 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were poised for a flat open on Thursday in the wake of a mixed bag of economic data, after the Dow edged up to a new record a day earlier and the Nasdaq snapped a 10-session winning streak.
Weekly jobless claims rose to 313,000 last week, above the 290,000 forecast and 283,000 in the previous week. Durable goods orders rose 2.8 percent in January, topping the 1.7 percent estimate.
U.S. consumer prices in January fell 0.7 percent, their biggest drop since 2008, as gasoline prices tumbled. The data could provide ammunition to a cautious Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low a bit longer.
“It all kind of neutralized itself,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
“The market just seems very confused as to whether it should be reacting to the prospect of lower rates for longer or the prospect that we can handle rates because the economy is doing well.”
S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 0.25 point and fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract, indicated a flat open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures fell 12 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 6 points.
A decline in shares of Apple tilted the S&P 500 and Nasdaq slightly into the red on Wednesday, while the Dow managed to edge up to a new record in the wake of testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to a House of Representatives committee that yielded little insight into the timing of an interest rate hike.
After a sluggish start to the year, equities have rebounded sharply in February. Both the Dow and S&P 500 are on track for their best monthly performance since October 2011, while the Nasdaq is on pace for its best month since January 2012.
Transocean shares gained 2.4 percent to $ 16.43 in premarket after posting quarterly results.
Salesforce.com shares surged 12.6 percent to $ 70.78 before the opening bell after the cloud software company reported quarterly earnings and raised its full-year revenue forecast.
Sears Holdings reported a narrower quarterly loss as it continued to slash costs and said it would launch a planned property trust by June, raising at least $ 2 billion for the struggling U.S. retailer. Its shares lost 1.3 percent to $ 37.42 in premarket.
Earnings are expected after the close from Autodesk , Gap Inc, Monster Beverage and Ross Stores.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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