Futures slipped further Thursday as investors were disappointed by the weekly jobless claims report that showed a gained, while trade deficit rose less than expected.
Weekly jobless claims edged higher last week, rising 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 414,000, according to the Labor Department.
Meanwhile, the trade deficit narrowed more than expected to $44.8 billion in July—its biggest month-to-month percentage drop since Feb. 2009, according to a government report. Economists had expected $51 billion.
In Europe, the ECB held interest rates at 1.5 percent, as expected, amid growing evidence the euro zone's economic recovery is losing momentum.
Meanwhile, a report by analysts at Danske Bank said the UK should lose its triple-A rating and that it should actually be awarded just an A+.
Markets were encouraged by events in Europe in the previous session after a court ruling backed Germany's role in bailing out other EU countries and as Italy's Senate approved a multibillion-euro austerity plan. Italy's lower house of parliament will debate and vote on the austerity measures next week.