U.S. stock index futures pared their early Thursday following a pair of weak jobs data and after news the economy grew at a slower pace than expected.
On the economic front, weekly jobless claims rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 383,000, gaining for the fourth-straight week, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims unchanged last week.
And the U.S. economy grew at a slower pace than expected in the first quarter with GDP increasing at a 1.9 percent annual rate, according to the Commerce Department. The reading was down from last month's 2.2 estimate. The economy grew at a 3.0 percent rate in the fourth quarter.
Private-sector jobs growth came in at a disappointingly weak 133,000from April to May, according to a report from ADP and Macroeconomic Advisors. Economists had expected the report to show jobs grew by 150,000.
The report comes a day ahead of the May government jobs.
Finally, at 9:45 a.m. the Chicago Purchase Managers Index for May is published, with analysts on briefing.com predicting a fall to 55 from 56.2 in April. PMI readings denote an improvement in business activity.
Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman defended his bank’s performance as lead underwriter on Facebook’s public offering, despite waves of criticism from investors and a potential legal review of the deal’s marketing.
In addition, the investment bank plans to buy 14 percent more of Smith Barneyfrom Citi and will begin a 90-day process determine the fair market value of the additional stake.
Most retailers posted solid same-store sales gains in May, with chains such as Target , TJX , and Limited topping analysts' estimates for the month.
Meanwhile, Costco , Buckle and Wet Seal all fell short of expectations.
Striking workers at a Caterpillar plant in Illinois rejected the company's latest contract offer, an official with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said.