RTTNews - US stocks were facing a less than stellar open Thursday morning in New York after markets around the world hit the skids amid renewed concerns about the global economy.

As of 6:15 am ET, the Dow Futures were down 40 points, the NASDAQ Futures were down 7 points, and the S&P Futures were down 6 points.

Stocks finished Wednesday's trading session modestly lower, unable to sustain earlier gains. The Dow closed lower by 52.81 at 8422.04, the NASDAQ finished down by 6.70 at 1727.84, and the S&P 500 slipped by 4.66 to 903.47.

Traders were spooked by the minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting, which offered a sobering view of the ongoing recession.

The minutes revealed that while Fed governors foresaw a deeper recession than initially projected.

Although the economic outlook has improved modestly since the March meeting, partly reflecting some easing of financial market conditions, economic activity is likely to remain weak for a time, the statement read.

Thursday, trading is likely to be impacted by the release of the weekly jobless claims report from the U.S. Labor Department for the week ended May 16th. Economists expect first time jobless claims at 640,000, following previous weekly figures which showed a decline of 637,000. The report is set to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Traders will also focus on the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing survey for May and the Conference Board's leading indicators for April. The reports are both scheduled for release at 10:00 a.m. ET.

In corporate news, media reports said that auto and home lender GMAC LLC, which was bailed out by the government in December, is expected to receive more than $7 billion in U.S. Treasury funds to provide financing for customers of General Motors Corp. (GM: News ) and Chrysler LLC.

Tax preparation and financial management software maker Intuit Inc. (INTU) said Wednesday after the markets closed that its third quarter profit rose 9% from last year, helped strong demand for its TurboTax tax preparation software. The company's quarterly earnings per share, excluding items, also came in above analysts' expectations.

Auto parts retailer Advance Auto Parts Inc. (AAP), Wednesday said its first quarter profit grew from last year, helped by a double-digit growth in sales driven by the net addition of 114 new stores and a comparable store sales increase of 8.2%.

Asian stocks stumbled Thursday, paring some of this week's gains. Tokyo's Nikkei slipped 0.9 percent, while the Hang Seng of Hong Kong lost 1.6 percent.

The major European averages were uniformly lower in early trading. The FTSE of the Uk was down 0.3 percent, the DAX of Germany was down 1.6 percent and the CAC of France was down 1.7 percent.

The price of oil was down $1.25, below $61 a barrel. Meanwhile, the dollar recovered a modest portion of this week's big losses against the sterling, but remained on the ropes versus the euro.

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