Futures turned lower Thursday following news that weekly jobless claims climbed unexpectedly last week and following a sharp rally in the previous session.
New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits posted a surprising gain of 6,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, according to the Labor Department, edging above 400,000 for the first time in over a month. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected claims at 390,000.
The jobless claims report comes ahead of a crucial government employment data on Friday.
Stocks rallied sharply Wednesday, with the Dow posting its biggest one-day point and percentage gain this year.
The world's major central banks including the ECB, Federal Reserve, Bank of England and the central banks of Canada, Japan and Switzerland agreed to coordinate action to ease the increasing strainson the global financial system.
The move is designed to "enhance their capacity to provide liquidity support to the global financial system."
In company news, Target fell after the big-box retailer reported lower-than-expected November sales.
Meanwhile, Macy's, Costco Wholesale, Limited Brands, and teen retailer Buckle all reported sales gains that topped Wall Street's estimates.
Lululemon Athletica slumped after the yoga apparel retailer said sales growth in existing stores declined and added it saw no substantial pickup in the current quarter.
Also, a consortium including Blackstone, Bain, Alibaba and Softbankhas begun formal discussions about a bidfor Yahoo , a source close to the consortium told CNBC.
The companies are "studying the deal closely" and are "pretty far down the road", with a minority member of the consortium advancing a proposal, the source said, but added that although formal discussions have begun, no formal offer has yet been considered.
Spain's Treasury sold 3.75 billion euros ($5.05 billion) in bonds but yields jumped to the highest levels in 14 years.
In economic news, auto sales for November are due and the annualized sales rate is forecast at 13.4 million by economists polled by Reuters, the best in two years.
—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: twitter.com/JeeYeonParkCNBC—
On Tap This Week:
THURSDAY: ISM mfg index, construction spending, chain store sales, auto sales; Earnings from H&R Block
FRIDAY: Employment situation, Fed's Plosser speaks; Earnings from Big Lots