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Futures shrug off claims; Greece, Shanghai keep Street on edge

U.S. stock index futures traded lower on Thursday, as hopes faded that a rescue-for-reforms deal for crisis-struck Greece was nearing.

In China, stocks plunged 6.5 percent on Thursday, with traders citing the tightening of marginal lending rules as an explanation.

European and U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq setting a new record high, after Greece said it had stated crafting a "staff level agreement" with its international bailout supervisors.

However, European officials rebuked the claims on Thursday, saying there was some way to go before any agreement could be drawn up and that they were surprised by the upbeat sentiment from Greece.

The Greek government's spokesman still said a deal should be reached by Sunday, Reuters reported.

Read MoreMyth or reality?Greece's debt saga continues

Meanwhile, U.S. officials were at the Group of Seven (G-7) meeting of finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Dresden, Germany, on Thursday, which will continue until Friday. Greece is on the agenda, as well as reviving global growth.

The dollar continued to edge higher, hitting a nearly 13-year high against the yen. The euro traded near $1.09.

Futures were little changed after weekly initial jobless claims came in at 282,000, up slightly from last week's 274,000 read.

Pending home sales and natural gas and crude inventories are due later in the morning. On Friday, there will be the second estimate of first-quarter economic growth.

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Companies reporting on Thursday include Abercrombie & Fitch, plus a number of Canadian banks, such as Royal Bank of Canada.

Avago Technologies will buy chip maker Broadcom for $37 billion in cash and stock, consisting of $54.50 in cash and 0.4378 Avago shares for each share of Broadcom.

Costco reported quarterly earnings of $1.17 per share, two cents above estimates, though revenue and comparable store sales were below forecasts. The warehouse retailer was hurt by lower gasoline prices and a stronger dollar.Abercrombie lost 53 cents per share for its latest quarter, wider than the 34 cent consensus estimate. Revenue missed forecasts amid an eight percent drop in comparable store sales. The apparel retailer did say it sees sales improving, and that it will see continued headwinds from foreign currency fluctuations.

A customer carries an Abercrombie & Fitch shopping bag from a store in New York.
Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A customer carries an Abercrombie & Fitch shopping bag from a store in New York.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams said in Singapore on Thursday he expects the U.S. economy to grow about 2 percent and unemployment to drift below 5 percent this year, Reuters reported. Williams cautioned that more economic data needs to be collected before a decision on interest rates is made.

Meanwhile, James Gorman, the chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, defended his 25 percent pay hike last year, at the bank's summit in Beijing on Thursday.

"We had three years where the stock went up," Gorman told CNBC on the sidelines of the summit.

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"So the board, representing shareholders, thought that justified very strong performance, not just for myself, but for the leadership of the firm."

CNBC's Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.