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U.S. stock index futures signaled a lower open on Thursday, after the Greek government requested a loan extension from its euro zone creditors and oil prices tumbled on oversupply fears.
Oil prices took a hit in early trading Thursday, after U.S. crude stocks rose by 14.3 million barrels last week, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed.
If U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, due at 11:00 a.m. ET, confirm the large build, it would be the biggest weekly addition in barrels since such data became available in 1982, according to Reuters.
Brent crude futures for April fell below $59 a barrel, down from Tuesday's two-month high of $63, and U.S. crude dipped below $50.
Thursday will also be a heavy day for company reports. Wal-mart reported adjusted earnings that beat estimates and revenue that missed expectations. The retailer will give half a million employees pay raises.
Weekly jobless claims came in less than expected at 283,000. The latest Philly Fed index for February and leading indicators data are both due at 10.00 a.m. ET.
Meanwhile, the minutes of the end-January Federal Open Market Committee meeting adopted a more dovish tone. Notably, "many" participants were inclined to prefer to embark on policy normalization at a slightly later date, while only "some" assessed that policy tightening should begin the near term.
In Europe on Thursday, Germany rejected the new anti-austerity Greek government's application for a six-month extension of its loan and a renegotiation of some its terms. European markets pared gains on the news.
Overnight, facing the prospect of Greece's banks running out of cash, the country has been allowed more provisions via an Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) from the European Central Bank. This differs from its main bailout program and doesn't include the tough austerity policies which Greece policymakers are trying to change.