The U.S. stock index futures point to a higher open Thursday ahead of the Labor Department's weekly jobless claims data and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September.
The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.10 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.25 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.18 percent.
Investors are likely to focus on the weekly U.S. jobless claims data to be reported Thursday. The initial jobless claims report, which measures the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time last week, is expected to rise to 375,000 in the week ending Nov. 10, up from 355,000 in the previous week.
Investors are also expected focus on the Dept. of Labor's CPI for September to be published Thursday. The CPI, which measures the change in the price of goods and services from consumers' perspective, is expected to rise 0.1 percent in October, down from 0.6 percent in September.
On Wednesday, the U.S. stocks fell as investor sentiment was weighed down by geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and continuing fears of the looming fiscal cliff. Market confidence turned negative as violence intensified in the Middle East following air strikes by Israel against Hamas in Gaza Strip raising concerns that there could more attacks in the coming days.
Meanwhile, according to the data released Wednesday by the Commerce Department, retail sales fell 0.3 percent in October down from 1.3 percent rise in September. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.45 percent, the S&P 500 Index was down 1.39 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.29 percent.
European markets fell Thursday, as investor sentiment turned negative following disappointing Germany’s economic growth for the third quarter. According to the data released Thursday by the Federal Statistics Office, Germany’s gross domestic product rose 0.2 percent in the third quarter, down from 0.3 percent in the previous three months.
London's FTSE 100 was down 24.70 points, Germany's DAX 30 index fell 36.63 points and France's CAC 40 declined 12.83 points.
Most of the Asian stocks fell Thursday following the global cues. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 337.54 points, Japan’s Nikkei was up 164.99 points and South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index declined 23.32 points.