U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Thursday, on rekindled fears over the global economic outlook and the stability of the financial system.
China, the engine of world economic growth in recent years, saw industrial output growth shrink to a record low at the start of the year, but a continued surge in bank lending in February spurred optimism the economy could rebound soon.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the global economy may shrink 1-2 percent this year, while revised Japanese data confirmed the world's No. 2 economy suffered its deepest slump since the oil shock of 1974.
Investors will keep an eye on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing on mark-to-market accounting rules, which have been blamed for forcing banks to report billions of dollars in write-downs.
On the macro front, the market will focus on monthly retail sales, as well as weekly jobless claims.
Roche Holding AG
Nortel Networks Corp
U.S. stocks rose for a second day on Wednesday after JP Morgan Chase's
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 3.91 points, or 0.06 percent, to 6,930.40. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 1.76 points, or 0.24 percent, to 721.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 13.36 points, or 0.98 percent, to 1,371.64.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; editing by Simon Jessop)