Worries about the crumbling Greek debt have weighed on the equities and other markets in recent months. On Thursday, the European Union reported Greece, as well as Ireland, had much larger budget deficits last year than anticipated.
Nokia's quarterly earnings report disappointed investors after it cut its profit outlook for its key phone unit. Its U.S.-listed shares tumbled 13.9 percent to
Greece is just something that won't go away, said Kim Caughey, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
Will the EU hang in together and address this issue, that's still a big question.
She said. in addition, the Nokia earnings set a dire tone and will weigh on investor sentiment.
S&P 500 futures fell 7.3 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 dropped 40 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 13 points.
Economic data set for release on Thursday include weekly jobless claims and producer prices for March at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT), and U.S. March existing home sales at 10 a.m.
Bank shares could be pressured by a speech by U.S. President Barack Obama, scheduled for 11:55 a.m. (1555 GMT), in which he is expected to tap into widespread anger at large financial institutions to make his case for stronger regulation over Wall Street.
PepsiCo Inc reported higher quarterly earnings helped by the recent purchase of its largest bottlers and sales gains in its snack and international beverage businesses.
Other firms reporting on Thursday include The Hershey Co , Amazon.com , American Express Co and Microsoft Corp .
Jitters over Goldman Sachs' fraud allegations are expected to linger after German state bank BayernLB said it had severed business ties with the Wall Street bank over the charges, while France eyed an investigation of its own.
Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc on Wednesday gave a weak forecast for the current quarter and full year, sending its stock down more than 8 percent in premarket trading.
Shares of Internet auctioneer and retailer EBay Inc , also dropped more than 8 percent in light premarket trading after it made a forecast for the rest of the year that fell short of Wall Street expectations.
Adding to the negative tone, shares in Hong Kong and China fell overnight as government measures to cool surging home prices weighed on property and banking stocks. Investors see any move to cool down the Chinese economy as detrimental to the global economic rebound.
U.S. stocks finished little changed on Wednesday as disappointing outlooks from healthcare companies offset strong earnings from Morgan Stanley and Apple Inc .
(Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)