Corporate earnings in the limelight on Wall Street; ECB in focus

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Thursday, as investors prepared to digest another batch of corporate earnings reports.

In earnings news, eBay, Microsoft and Visa are some of the major names set to report. Blackstone, Travelers, Philip Morris and Polaris are among the companies that reported earlier on Thursday.

Sticking with financial news, jobless claims fell 15,000 to 233,000. The Leading Indicators index is slated to come out at 10 a.m. ET.

Pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange in New York.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange in New York.

On the central bank front, the European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged, as was widely expected. ECB President Mario Draghi is set to speak later in the morning.

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Meanwhile in oil, prices continued to fluctuate, as analysts offered assorted supply stances for the commodity ahead of an OPEC meeting next week, Reuters reported.

At 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, U.S. crude was trading around $47.41, while Brent hovered around $50.08.

Politics is likely to be at the back of investors' minds, as they keep an ear out for any news coming from the White House, in relation to health care and the Russia-linked scandal, which continues to rumble on.

In Europe, bourses were mostly in the black during early trade, while Asia-Pacific markets finished trade on a relatively positive note. In the previous session, U.S. equities closed at record highs as earnings continued to dominate.

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