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Oil, politics, data in the spotlight on Wall Street

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat to slightly higher open on Thursday, as investors geared up for a cluster of data releases.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Oil will still be at the front of investors' minds on Thursday, as prices continue to fluctuate over concerns of a glut in the market.

On Thursday, prices rose with U.S. crude trading at $42.90 at 8:40 a.m. ET, while Brent hovered around $45.33.

In the political sphere, it is reported that the U.S. president will meet with a second round of tech executives and venture capitalists on Thursday.

On the data front, jobless claims hit 241,000, just above the expected 240,000 number. The FHFA House Price Index is set for release at 9 a.m. ET and the Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index is expected at 11 a.m. ET.

Elsewhere, the Federal Reserve board is set to release the results from the latest supervisory stress tests conducted as part of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Earnings-wise, Accenture posted quarterly results before the bell; Bed Bath & Beyond and Sonic are set to report their latest corporate results after the close.

In other corporate news, shares of American Airlines jumped more than 5 percent after the airline disclosed Qatar Airways had approached the firm about taking a large stake in the company.

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In Europe, bourses were trading lower, while Asia-Pacific markets finished trade on a relatively mixed note.

In the previous session, U.S. stocks ended mostly lower as oil price volatility continued to weigh on sentiment.

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