U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open on Thursday as markets digested the latest Challenger jobs report, amid a raft of earnings reports, as investors geared up for Friday's closely watched July jobs report.
Weekly jobless claims came in at 270,000, slightly below expectations.
U.S. job cuts soared to a nearly four-year high in July as the military announced plans to reduce troop and civilian workforce payrolls, according to outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Employers based in the United States announced 105,696 layoffs last month, the first time monthly reductions exceeded 100,000 since September 2011. A year ago, U.S. companies announced plans to cut 46,887 jobs.
However, none of the jobs data so far this week are expected to significantly affect Friday's key report.
"We think this increase in announced job cuts will have no impact on the July BLS report, and only a minimal impact on the employment data over the next few years. The jump in layoffs announced in July was basically entirely due to reductions announced by the US Army that are scheduled to begin in October and be implemented over the next two years," JPMorgan said in a morning note.