Futures on major U.S. indices point to a lower opening on Thursday ahead of key weekly jobless claims data and corporate earnings.
Futures on the S&P 500 are down 0.13 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are down 0.18 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are down 0.50 percent.
On the economic front, the Department of Labor is due to report the initial jobless claims data at 8:30 am EDT. Economists forecast initial jobless claims to be 408,000 for the week ended Jul 16 against 405,000 of the previous week. Any data that is weaker than expected will weigh on market sentiments.
Also, data including Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index, monthly CB Leading Index and House Price Index are due to release during the day.
The earnings season gathers momentum with Microsoft set to report its quarterly results after the closing bell. Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report second quarter net loss of $0.62 per share compared to net income of $0.80 last year.
Advanced Micro Devices, Morgan Stanley, AT&T, Pepsico, Baxter International and Sandisk Corp are also set to report their quarterly numbers on Thursday.
Meanwhile, lingering concerns about the U.S. debt limit and weak manufacturing data from China also weighed on the sentiment. Chinese manufacturing activity contracted to a 28-month low in July as monetary policy tightening and slack global demand weighed on the economy.
European stocks are currently trading lower with FTSE 100 trading down by 33.01 points, DAX30 down by 43.52 points and CAC 40 down by 18.93 points.
The euro declined 0.27 percent to 1.4178 against the dollar and the yen declined 0.09 percent against the greenback.
Crude oil futures declined 0.49 percent to $97.92/barrel and gold futures rose 0.16 percent.