Futures on major U.S. indices remained range bound on Thursday as investors await a wave of economic data including key weekly jobless claims and non-farm productivity.
Futures on the S&P 500 are up 0.04 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.06 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are down 0.08 percent.
Investors are likely to focus on weekly initial jobless claims and nonfarm productivity which are due to release before market opens, while ISM non-manufacturing index and monthly factory orders will be released after market opens.
Ahead of Friday's December nonfarm payrolls report, the Department of Labor is due to report the initial jobless claims data at 8:30 am EDT. The economists forecast initial jobless claims to be 425,000 for the week ended January 29 against 454,000 of the previous week. Any data that is weaker than expected will weigh on market sentiments.
Payroll firm ADP Employer Services said on Wednesday that employment in the US private sector rose more than expected in January, posting a gain for the fourth consecutive month. On seasonally adjusted basis, Private-sector employment rose 187,000 in January, from downwardly revised gain of 247,000 in December, while economists estimated an increase by 150,000.
On the earnings front, Merck & Co., JDSU, Viacom, Cardinal Health, International Paper, CVS and Caremark Corp. are due to report their quarterly earnings during the day.
On Wednesday, US stocks finished narrowly mixed in uneasy trading as the political crisis in Egypt seems to be worsening as fighting between forces supporting President Hosni Mubarak and those who oppose him intensify.
The euro declined 0.18 percent to 1.3786 against the dollar and the yen declined 0.17 percent against the greenback.
Crude oil futures advanced 0.66 percent to $91.46/barrel and gold futures declined 0.20 percent.
European stock markets are currently trading mixed with FTSE 100 down by 20.43 points, DAX30 up by 6.08 points and CAC 40 down by 36.34 points.