U.S. stock index futures were lower on Thursday ahead of a report on weekly jobless claims and after data showed a jump in Chinese inflation.
The Labor Department releases the jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. EST. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 460,000 new filings, compared with 469,000 in the prior week. For details, see
After Friday's jobs report, there are increased stakes for labor market data to be increasingly positive, said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial Group in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
There's some apprehension to commit before the number, because if it comes in weaker than expected it will cause a lot of nervousness.
Investors also fretted about the prospects of monetary tightening in top consumer China, where consumer inflation rose to a 16-month high in February.
S&P 500 futures fell 2.2 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 14 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 3.5 points.
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Overseas, European shares were little changed, though bank stocks were lower on the Chinese inflation data.
Bank and technology shares lifted Wall Street on Wednesday on hopes that a revival in business demand will boost corporate profits.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)