Futures hold losses on inflation, jobs data

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a softer open on Thursday, tracking losses in Europe, as investors digested the minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting and a raft of new data.

U.S. weekly jobless claims came in the lowest in 14 years, slightly above estimates at 291,000, and the Consumer Price Index for October was unchanged.

The minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee October meeting sounded mostly dovish, as Fed members expressed concern for the global economy.

Some participants of the FOMC also feared that inflation could run below the Committee's two percent target for quite some time, but most continue to expect it to move back to the 2 percent target over the medium term.

Existing home sales and the Philadelphia Fed survey are released at 10 a.m.

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U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday, with benchmarks at or near all-time highs, as Wall Street took in the Fed's comments.

In Europe, shares traded lower as investors reacted to worse-than-expected data from the euro zone and disappointing corporate earnings from the mining sector.

Euro zone November flash composite purchasing manager's index (PMI) data from Markit came in at 51.4, below forecasts by analysts polled by Reuters of 52.3, and below October's final reading of 52.1.

Shares in electronics giant Best Buy jumped over 5 percent in premarket trading after the group posted third quarter earnings and revenue that beat analysts' expectations.

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Dollar Tree is also expected to post its results ahead of market open, while Gap earnings for the third quarter are due after market close.

President Obama holds a key speech on immigration on Thursday evening.