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Futures point to a higher open on Wall Street, as investors await data, Fed speeches

Traders stand outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Traders stand outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open Thursday, as investors look to key data releases and speeches by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 21 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 2.75 points and 22.50 points.

In the previous session, Wall Street finished the trading day at record highs, with the Dow Jones industrial average ending 19.97 points up, hitting an all-time closing high of 22,661.64. This comes after the release of a strong batch of economic data Wednesday.

President Donald Trump touted the stock market Thursday morning, saying on Twitter: "Stock Market hits an ALL-TIME high! Unemployment lowest in 16 years! Business and manufacturing enthusiasm at highest level in decades!"

Looking ahead to Thursday's session, news out of the U.S. central bank is set to dominate discussion, as a number of leading Fed members are set to deliver remarks.

Fed Governor Jerome Powell will be in New York, where he is likely to weigh-in on treasury markets at the "TMPG Best Practices: A Look Back and a Look Ahead" event.

Meanwhile in Missouri, San Francisco Fed President John Williams will deliver the morning keynote address at the Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference in St. Louis.

In Austin, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker will be speaking at the Investing in America's Workforce Capstone conference during the morning; while Kansas City Fed President Esther George will also deliver her thoughts at the Austin-based conference later on in the day.

Elsewhere, the House is expected to vote on its fiscal budget for 2018 on Thursday, which will keep the topic of tax reform up at the front of investors' minds.

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Looking to data, weekly jobless claims fell by 12,000 to 260,000. Meanwhile, the trade deficit fell by 2.7 percent to $42.4 billion in August. Factory orders data are due out at 10 a.m. in New York.

In commodities, oil prices posted gains during early trade, as expectations materialized over the possibility of Saudi Arabia and Russia extending their production cuts; however, prices were capped due to persisting glut concerns.

At 8:35 a.m. ET, U.S. crude traded around $50.06 per barrel, while Brent hovered around $56.12.

Overseas, European stocks were trading in a mixed range, while markets in Asia closed on a relatively mixed note.

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—CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.