U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower opening Thursday as investor sentiment continued to be dragged down by weak global economic conditions.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.49 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 index were down 0.49 percent and futures on the Nasdaq 100 index were down 0.64 percent.
Investors are likely to focus on the Department of Labor's weekly U.S. jobless claims data report. The initial jobless claims report, which measures the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time last week, is expected to rise to 375,000 in the week ending July 7, after dropping to 374,000 in the previous week.
The Department of Labor will also report Thursday the import price index, which measures the change in the price of imported goods and services purchased domestically. It is expected to decline 1.7 percent in June after 1 percent fall in May.
Most markets in the U.S. fell Wednesday as investors were disappointed to note that there would not be any immediate stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released Wednesday the minutes of its June 19-20 meeting which gave indication to investors that the unless the economic recovery loses even more momentum, there will be no more monetary easing measures.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.38 percent, the S&P 500 Index was flat and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.49 percent.
Major European indices were in the red on continued worries among the investors about the deepening debt burden faced by the euro zone. London's FTSE 100 fell 35.93 points, Germany's DAX 30 index was down 46.61 points and France's CAC 40 declined 16.81 points.
Asian markets also fell Thursday following global cues. South Korea's central bank cut the interest rate Thursday by 25 basis points to 3 percent. Market participants were rather discouraged by this decision as they took it as another indication for global uncertain economic growth.