Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. REUTERS

Futures on major U.S. stock indices point to lower opening on Thursday following weaker-than-expected reports on durable goods orders and consumer spending.

Futures on the S&P 500 are down 0.18 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are down 0.08 percent and Nasdaq100 futures are down 0.27 percent.

The Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims declined by 3,000 to 420,000 for the week ended December 18 from the previous week's revised figure of 423,000, while economists’ expected 424,000. The 4-week moving average of initial claims increased 2,500 to 426,000 from the previous week's revised average of 423,500.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in November decreased by 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted $193.7 billion. Economists expected a decline of 1 percent in November, followed by a 3.1 percent decline in October. Excluding transportation, orders decreased 2.3 percent in November.

Monthly core PCE price index inched up 0.1 percent following a flat reading in the previous month. Personal spending increased 0.4 percent and personal income rose 0.3 percent in November.

After the opening bell, new home sales data for the month of November will be released. Economists have forecast sales of new single-family houses to be 303,000 for November against 283,000 in the previous month.

On Wednesday, US stocks rose moderately higher, following a slight boost by a small upward revision to third-quarter GDP and an uptick in sales of existing homes.

The euro declined 0.20 percent to 1.3073 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.59 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures declined 0.07 percent to $90.42/barrel and gold futures declined 0.76 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading mixed with FTSE 100 up by 1.93 points, DAX30 down by 9.59 points and CAC 40 down by 25.55 points.