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US STOCKS-Wall Street set to edge up as weekly jobless claims drop

Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh

(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Apple eyes $2 trillion market capitalization mark

* Weekly unemployment claims fall below 1 million

* S&P 500 about 0.4% below February record high

* Futures up: Dow 0.08%, S&P 0.10%, Nasdaq 0.59% (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh

Aug 13 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open a touch higher on Thursday, with the S&P 500 within striking distance of a record high, after data showed weekly jobless claims fell below 1 million for the first time since March.

The number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits fell over last week, the Labor Department's data showed, signaling a recovery in the job market was on track after data last week showed the economy has regained only 9.3 million jobs of the 22 million jobs lost between February and April.

The S&P 500 ended Wednesday about 0.4% below its intraday record high hit on Feb. 19, having recovered virtually all of its losses due to the pandemic, thanks to unprecedented stimulus and a better-than-feared earnings season.

"We've had a really strong run over the last couple of weeks, so I think it will be very healthy to see a pause, some consolidation here," said Dan Eye, head of asset allocation and equity at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

A bulk of the gains have been driven by technology stocks and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was the first of the three major indexes to recoup its pandemic-driven losses in June.

Apple rose 1.1% in premarket trade, with investors watching for the iPhone maker to become the first publicly-listed U.S. company with a $2 trillion stock market value.

Markets continued to hold on to hopes the Democrats and the White House would reach an agreement for a stimulus to help the economy reach pre-pandemic levels.

"There's definitely a stalemate there and it just seems like the market has decided to take an optimistic view around the stimulus talks that's right in line with how markets are looking at every outcome - the economic recovery, earnings recovery, vaccines," Fort Pitt Capital Group's Dan Eye added.

The U.S. Presidential election is also expected to add another layer of uncertainty into markets, with roughly 12 weeks remaining until Election Day.

At 8:42 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 23 points, or 0.08%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.5 points, or 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 65.5 points, or 0.59%.

Cisco Systems Inc dropped 7.3% after forecasting first-quarter revenue and profit below Wall Street estimates and laying out a restructuring plan.

Southwest Airlines Co slipped 0.5% in slim trade after Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said he did not expect the airline will be profitable in 2020, snapping a 47-year streak of posting consecutive full-year profits.

Tapestry Inc rose 6.8% after it beat quarterly sales estimates, helped by a recovery in sales in China and a surge in online orders for its Coach handbags from consumers stuck indoors. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Uttaresh.V)