US Markets

US stock futures mostly higher as traders gear up for election

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U.S. stock index futures traded mostly higher on Thursday as traders geared up for next week's presidential election, digested data and a big day of earnings.

With the election now less than a week away, Wall Street's long-running view that Hillary Clinton would easily become the next president has been replaced by a belief that Donald Trump still has a chance of winning. However, the latest Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll released on Wednesday showed Clinton's lead over Trump rising back up to 6 percentage points.

On the data front, initial jobless claims came in at 265,000, above a consensus estimate of 258,000. Also, the preliminary read on third-quarter productivity showed an increase of 3.1 percent, well above the expected rise of 2 percent. The ISM non-manufacturing index and factory orders are also set to be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Meanwhile, October payrolls are due to be released on Friday, which could give further indication on when the Federal Reserve could next raise interest rates.

On the earnings front, Starbucks, Activision Blizzard,Kraft Heinz and El Pollo Loco are among companies due to report after the bell.

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index rose 0.6 percent after a United Kingdom court ruling said the country would have to obtain parliamentary approval to trigger Article 50 and begin the process of leaving the European Union. The Shanghai Composite in China closed 0.84 percent higher. Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday.

In oil markets, Brent crude traded at $47.23 a barrel on Thursday, up 0.79 percent, while U.S. crude was around $45.60 a barrel, up 0.57 percent.

—CNBC's Patti Domm contributed to this story