U.S. stock-index futures traded lower on Thursday, as word of sanctions against Russia hit global markets.
Stock futures maintained losses after economic reports offered differing messages on the housing and labor markets, with housing starts unexpectedly falling in June while applications for jobless benefits fell last week.
Microsoft shares rose in early New York trading as the software giant said it would be cutting 18,000 jobs in the next year.
Read MoreMicrosoft plans to slash jobs
Morgan Stanley rose after the brokerage reported better-than-expected quarterly results.