U.S. stock index futures edged lower Thursday following a batch of mixed economic reports and after data that showed the euro zone has slipped into recession.
On the economic front, jobless claims unexpectedly jumped up 78,000 in the previous week to a seasonally adjusted 439,000, due to Hurricane Sandy, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a reading of 375,000.
Meanwhile, the consumer price index edged up 0.1 percent in October, according to the Labor Department, in line with expectations. The data still pointed to only modest inflation pressures that appear unlikely to derail the Fed's plan to keep rates low for an extended period.
And the Empire state manufacturing activity index gained to minus 5.22 in November from minus 6.16 in the month prior, according to the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Economists had expected a reading of minus 6.70.
Stocks tumbled more than 1 percent in the previous session, with the Dow closing at its worst level in nearly five months, following President Barack Obama's press conference on the "fiscal cliff," worries over the global economy and amid geopolitical tension in the Middle East.
European shares traded lower after reports showed the euro zone slipped into its second recession since 2009 in the third quarter.