U.S. stock index futures continued to hover around the flatline Thursday following a weaker-than-expected jobless claims report ahead of the government's non-farm payrolls data on Friday.
Weekly jobless claims gained more than expected last week, increasing 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits rising to 317,000.
Meanwhile, U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened 7.7 percent to $42.3 billion in February, according to the Commerce Department as exports fell to their lowest level in five months, further signs economic growth slowed in the first quarter. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade deficit falling to $38.5 billion.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) non-manufacturing index for March will be reported at 10 am ET. The index, which tracks changes in the services sector, unexpectedly fell in February, and analysts at Barclays are expecting a rebound to 52.5 for last month.