Stock futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 fall 0.5 to 0.6 percent, pointing to a weaker start on Wall Street on Thursday.
Labor Department releases at 8:30 a.m. EST first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended January 30. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 460,000 new filings compared with 470,000 in the prior week. The figures are seen as a precursor to the key monthly non-farm payrolls data on Friday.
Commerce Department releases December factory orders at 10 a.m. EST. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a rise of 0.5 percent compared with a 0.6 percent rise in the prior month.
China dismissed on Thursday U.S. threats it would get tough with Beijing on trade and currency to ensure American goods did not face a competitive disadvantage, saying its yuan currency was at a reasonable level.
Struggling U.S. jewelry chain Zale Corp
With a nervous eye on the November congressional elections, Senate Democrats will unveil tax credits and other proposals on Thursday that aim to bring down the nation's double-digit unemployment rate.
At 8:30 a.m. EST, preliminary fourth quarter Productivity and Unit Labor Costs numbers will be released. Economists forecast a rise of 6.0 percent versus a rise of 8.1 percent in the third quarter. Unit Labor Costs are seen falling 2.5 percent, unchanged from the third quarter report.
ICSC releases chain store sales for January versus a year ago. No set time. In the previous month, sales rose 2.8 percent versus a year ago.
MasterCard, the world's second-largest credit card network, is likely to report a big gain in earnings, boosted by an increase in processed transactions and price increases despite an expected drop in U.S. credit card purchase volume.
Fourth-quarter results from Moody's are expected to show a slight improvement over the year-earlier quarter as credit issuance picked up, boosting its ratings business.
Other companies announcing results include Cigna, Diamond Offshore Drilling and Avon.
Oil fell 0.8 percent to trade below $77 a barrel as rising crude inventories in the U.S. signaled that a rebound in U.S. economic activity was failing to translate into higher demand.
Shares of Visa Inc
Shares of Cisco Systems
European shares fell 1 percent ahead of interest rate decisions by the European Central Bank and the Bank of England later on Thursday.
Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> lost 0.5 percent on Thursday, with Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> sliding further on its recall woes and Sharp Corp <6753.T> tumbling after reporting a smaller-than-expected quarterly profit.
U.S. stocks mostly fell on Wednesday as Pfizer's
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slipped 26.30 points, or 0.26 percent, to end at 10,270.55. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 6.04 points, or 0.55 percent, to end at 1,097.28. But the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> inched up just 0.85 of a point, or 0.04 percent, to close at 2,190.91.
Shares of Monster Worldwide Inc
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sharon Lindores)