U.S. stock index futures were trading flat in a choppy pre-market session Thursday following a report that jobless claims were unchanged last week and amid ongoing worries over the euro zone debt crisis.
Claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged last week, holding steady at a seasonally adjusted 370,000 rate, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Reuters had expected claims falling to 365,000. The four-week moving average for new claims, declined 4,750 to 375,000.
The Dow and S&P 500 logged four-day losses in the previous sessionafter the Fed's latest meeting minutes showed two policymakers were in favor of further quantitative easing if the economy falters again and after the ECB said it had ceased providing liquidity to some Greek banks due to their failure to recapitalize.
Concerns over the euro zone grew after a report that Moody's told a number of Spanish banks that it will lower their ratings, according to a Spanish newspaper, citing sources. This comes after the agency cut the ratings of 26 Italian lenders earlier this week.
Spain's 10-year yields spiked back above 6 percent. European shares extended their lossesamid pressure from Greece’s political impasse and Spain’s banking crisis.
Wal-Mart rallied after the big-box retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly resultsand posted a gain in same-store sales.
Sears surged after the retailer said it plans to spin offa large part of its stake in its Canada unit to better focus on its U.S. business. The firm also posted a narrower-than-expected loss.
Aeropostale , Gap , Applied Materials and Marvell Tech are among notable companies slated to post earnings after-the-bell tonight.
Tiffany edged higher after the upscale jeweler raised its dividend by 10 percent to 32 cents a share from 29 cents a share, the firm's 11th increase in the last 10 years.
At 10 a.m. on Thursday the Philadelphia Fed index — measuring changes in business growth — will be released. Economists polled by Briefing.com forecast the monthly index rose from 8.5 in April to 8.8 in May.
The Conference Board releases its leading economic indicators index for April, also at 10 a.m. Economists polled by Briefing.com forecast a 0.2 percent rise, compared with a 0.3 percent increase in March.
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
Coming Up This Week:
THURSDAY: Philadelphia Fed survey, e-commerce retail sales, leading indicators, Facebook pricing, Home Depot shareholders mtg, Intel shareholders mtg; Earnings from Aeropostale, Gap, Marvell Tech
FRIDAY: Facebook begins trading, JCPenney shareholders mtg, G8 summit begins; Earnings from Ann
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