U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower Thursday as renewed jitters over Greece's future in the euro zone overshadowed a better-than-expected durable goods orders.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said the debt-ridden nation does not want more money from its euro zone partners, just time to breatheso that it can return to growth. Samaras has been arguing for more time beyond the mid-2014 deadline to complete the required reforms to receive bailout loans.
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not commit to granting more time, saying she would await a report by the "troika" of international lenders due next month before taking further action.
Meanwhile, growing doubts over whether the Federal Reserve will introduce further stimulus measures put a damper on equities in the previous session, a week ahead of a meeting of the world’s top central bank officials in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Investors, economists and even Fed officials were divided over whether stimulus measure in the form of further quantitative easingis in the cards after minutes of the Fed’s latest meeting hinted at further action. (Read More: Why Markets Should Cheer QE3 Is Not Coming Soon)