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Futures mixed amid data; Fed speakers eyed

U.S. stock index futures indicated a flat to slightly higher open Thursday as traders eyed a host of speakers from the U.S. Federal Reserve, who could shed further light on what was discussed at its last meeting: Economic conditions that could lead to a December rate hike.

Speakers from the central bank include Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, who said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that policymakers are not boxed in on rates and she doesn't think the Fed is behind the curve.

Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart is set to speak at the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce in Georgia at 12:30 p.m. ET, and Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer will be at the San Francisco Fed at 4:45 p.m. ET, discussing emerging Asia.

On the data front, initial jobless claims came in at 271,000.

The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing survey's diffusion index for current activity came in for November at 1.9, its first positive reading in three months.

Leading indicators are due at 10 a.m., ET.

On the earnings front, Best Buy reported before the bell. Autodesk, Gap, Intuit, Ross Stores and Williams-Sonoma are among companies due to report after the bell.

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Two new firms, Square and Match, are due to begin trading Thursday.

In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $43.88 a barrel, down 0.60 percent, while U.S. crude was at around $41.57 a barrel, down 0.91 percent.

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was around 1 percent higher on Thursday morning. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei finished 1.07 percent higher, while in China the Shanghai Composite closed 1.38 percent higher.

— CNBC's Patti Domm contributed to this report