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Wall Street expected to open slightly lower ahead of health-care vote

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Thursday as traders eyed the release of data and a key vote in the House.

The House is set to vote on the Republican health care bill that, if signed into law, would repeal and replace Obamacare. Investors have been keeping a close eye on the vote as a prolonged battle on the health-care front could delay market friendly measures, including tax reform and fiscal stimulus.

Expectations for such policies had been a boon for the market's postelection rally.

On the data front, initial jobless claims rose 15,000 to 258,000, above the expected 240,000. New home sales are set to come out at 10:00 a.m. ET.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke at Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference in Washington, D.C., but did not comment on monetary policy.

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 Index was around 0.23 percent higher on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a suspected terrorist drove a car into pedestrians and then stabbed a police officer inside the gates of the U.K. Parliament in London. Four people, including the suspect and police officer, are dead, and around 40 people are injured.

On the earnings front, Accenture reported better-than-expected earnings. GameStop and KB Home are among companies set to report after the bell.

In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $50.44 a barrel on Thursday, down 0.4 percent, while U.S. crude was around $47.85 a barrel, up 0.4 percent.

—CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.