U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday as a continuing slide in commodities prompted an unwinding of bets on risky assets, including equities, while a sour outlook from Cisco hurt technology stocks.
The commodities slump is front and center among drivers of the equities market, said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in New York.
Watching commodities' volatility increase is just making people aware the potential exists for equity volatility to pick up in a similar fashion.
Investors will focus at 8:30 a.m. on the latest data on weekly applications for U.S. unemployment insurance. A Reuters survey forecasts 430,000 new applications were filed compared with a surprise jump to 474,000 in the previous week.
Also at 8:30 a.m. the Labor Department releases the April Producer Price Index. Forecasters are looking for a 0.6 percent rise compared with a 0.7 percent increase in March.
Investors are past the stage of wondering whether the economy will keep gaining momentum, Meckler said. Now, the view is how strong that recovery will continue to be. We need not just good numbers but numbers that trend considerably stronger.
Cisco Systems Inc
S&P 500 futures fell 7.2 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 61 points and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 20 points.
The wave of profit taking in commodities pulled copper prices to their lowest level since December 1, while spot silver lost more than 7 percent after tumbling about 9 percent Wednesday. The iShares Silver Trust
The Reuters/Jefferies CRB index <.CRB>, a broad measure of commodity performance, has lost 8.8 percent so far in May.
U.S. crude futures lost 3 percent and the United States Oil Fund LP
U.S. stocks on Wednesday nearly erased a three-day rally as energy and other commodity shares sank, feeding worries about the market's ability to stay on an upward path.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)