U.S. stock index futures extended losses after the government released disappointing news trade and jobless claims.
Earlier, futures tracked Asianand European lossesamid concerns over rising oil pricesafter some of Libya's oil infrastructure was bombed by forces loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Initial jobless for the week ended March 5 rose 26,0000 to a seasonally adjusted 397,000, according to the Labor Department. Claims had fallen to a 2 1/2-year low the week before. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected claims to rise to 378,000 from a slightly upwardly revised 371,000 the week before.
The U.S. trade deficit widened by $6 billion to $46.3 billion, led by imports of oil, capital goods and cars. The gap was far more than the $41.5 billion expected by analysts, according to Reuters.
Libya turned away crude tankersfrom various ports as storage facilities dried up because of supply disruptions at oil fields from weeks of social unrest, prompting ships to reroute to Saudi Arabia and Algeria to secure cargos.
As the fighting continues, oil prices will likely, once again, direct stocks.
The Bank of England holds its interest-rate meeting, but is unlikely to echo the hawkish stance of the European Central Bank.
The BoE left rates steady at 0.5 percent, as expected, to avoid derailing the economic recovery.