U.S. stock index futures signaled a higher open on Thursday, following gains in Europe on the back of strong bank earnings and a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine.
Futures trimmed some gains as retail sales for January came in weaker than expected, down 0.8 percent and near December's 0.9 percent decline. Retail sales ex-autos declined 0.9 percent, though when excluding vehicles, gasoline and building materials, sales posted a moderate increase to 0.1 percent last month after a revised 0.3 percent drop in December.
"Bottom line, there is still no signs of a change in spending behavior due to the drop in gasoline sales, let alone from the big pick up in job growth. It seems that restaurant and bars are the only beneficiary as sales there were up 13.1 percent year-over-year," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group said in a note.