Stock index futures pointed to a weaker open on Wall Street Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 down 0.1 to 0.4 percent.
The Labor Department releases at 1230 GMT (8:30 a.m. ET) first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended August 27. Economists forecast a total of 410,000 new filings compared with 417,000 in the prior week.
Goldman Sachs and two other firms agreed with the New York banking regulator to end the practice known as robo-signing, in which bank employees signed foreclosure documents without reviewing case files as required by law, the Wall Street Journal said.
Revised Q2 productivity and unit labor costs figures will be announced at 1230 GMT. Economists forecast productivity to drop 0.5 percent, versus a 0.3 percent fall in the preliminary Q2 report. Unit labor costs are expected to rise 2.4 percent compared with a 2.2 percent increase in the preliminary Q2 report.
July construction spending data is due at 1400 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a rise of 0.2 percent.
IBM is buying Toronto-based risk analytics software firm Algorithmics for $387 million in cash to enhance its financial services capabilities.
The U.S. government on Wednesday sued to block AT&T Inc's $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA, citing concerns it will harm competition in the wireless market and lead to higher prices.
At 1400 GMT, the Institute for Supply Management releases its August manufacturing index. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 48.5 versus 50.9 in July.
Slumping export demand slowed factory activity in some of Asia's biggest economies in August, although China fared better thanks to solid domestic growth, a series of surveys released on Thursday showed.
Resource-related stocks will be in focus as crude oil prices fell 0.5 percent and key base metals prices were down 1.0 to 2.3 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares fell 0.5 percent on Thursday after rising 5.2 percent over the previous three sessions. The index fell 10.6 percent in August.
U.S. stocks closed out the worst month in more than a year on an up note on Wednesday, with sharp gains in the last several days still not enough to repair the damage from a U.S. credit downgrade and fears of a slide back into recession.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> finished up 53.58 points, or 0.46 percent, at 11,613.53. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 5.97 points, or 0.49 percent, at 1,218.89. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 3.35 points, or 0.13 percent, at 2,579.46.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by David Holmes)