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Futures hold lower amid GDP; Fed eyed

U.S. stocks were tipped to open a touch lower on Thursday, with focus turning to second-quarter economic growth data for clues on the timing of a rate rise.

The advanced reading of second quarter economic growth showed an increase of 2.3 percent, slightly below expectations of 2.6 percent. Encouragingly, first quarter GDP was revised higher to 0.6 percent from an earlier negative read.

Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, noted that the one of the Fed's favorite indicators on inflation, the core personal consumption expenditures price index, rose 1.8 percent.

Weekly jobless claims came in at 267,000.

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Longer-term yields dipped after initially holding higher, while the 2-year yield held near an earlier level of 0.74 percent.

The dollar held higher, up about half a percent against major world currencies. The euro traded at $1.09 and the yen was weaker against the dollar at 124.4 yen.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The GDP data follows the end of a two-day Fed meeting on Wednesday that kept rates unchanged. The U.S. central bank, which is expected to lift rates in September, said the economy had overcome a slowdown in the first quarter and was "expanding moderately."

U.S. stock index futures nudged lower in European trade, with Dow Jones industrial average futures down about 50 points, indicating a weaker open for Wall Street. Stocks closed higher on Wednesday.

European shares opened higher on a slew of positive earnings news, while Asian stocks ended the day mixed with China's Shanghai Composite index closing more than 2 percent lower.

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Volatility in Chinese shares has undermined sentiment in global stock markets this week amid concerns about financial instability in the world's second biggest economy.

In the U.S., investors will also digest a slew of earnings. Quarterly reports out Thursday include Colgate-Palmolive, ConocoPhillips, Procter & Gamble, Time Warner Cable,Teva Pharma, T-Mobile, Electronic Arts and LinkedIn.

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Procter & Gamble reported quarterly profit of $1 per share on an adjusted basis, 5 cents above estimates. Revenue was slightly below estimates, and the company said organic sales in the current fiscal year will be down slightly to up single digits.

Time Warner Cable earned an adjusted $1.54 per share for its latest quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.81, though revenue was essentially in line. The cable operator had a net addition of 66,000 customers during the quarter, its first positive second quarter performance for that metric since 2008.

CNBC's Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.