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Dow futures fall 97 points as stocks look to pull back from record highs

  • The Dow is coming off a record session, closing above 23,000 for the first time on Wednesday.
  • The pullback in the futures market took place exactly 30 years after "Black Monday," the worst day in the history of the U.S. stock market.
  • On that day, the S&P 500 plunged 20.5 percent.

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open Thursday, as investors braced for a pullback from record levels. Wall Street also tried to shake off negative sentiment coming from the European political space.

Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 97 points. Shares of Dow-component Nike fell 1.9 percent in the premarket after analysts at Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to neutral from buy.

S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 11.75 points and 39.50 points, respectively.

The pullback in the futures market took place exactly 30 years after "Black Monday," the worst day in the history of the U.S. stock market. On that day, the S&P 500 plunged 20.5 percent and the Dow dropped 22.6 percent.

CFRA strategist Sam Stovall said in a note this week the S&P's daily price chart this year looks "eerily" like that of 1987, but that's about the only similarity between the market then and now.

The Dow rose sharply on Wednesday to close above 23,000 for the first time.

Specialist trader Michael Pistillo Jr. wears a dow 23,000 hat, after the dow briefly traded above 23,000, at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 17, 2017.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Specialist trader Michael Pistillo Jr. wears a dow 23,000 hat, after the dow briefly traded above 23,000, at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 17, 2017.

In Europe, the Spanish central government stated that it would move to suspend Catalonia's autonomy after regional leader Carles Puigdemont failed to drop a bid for independence or provide clarity on the matter.

The government went on to add that it would therefore "continue with the procedures provided for in Article 155 of the constitution to restore legality in the self-government of Catalonia," according to a statement published on the Spanish government's website. Meaning, the government is set to meet Saturday to propose measures to strip Catalonia of some powers and officially trigger Article 155.

The news out of Spain weighed on European equities. The German Dax slipped 0.8 percent, while the FTSE 100 fell 0.6 percent. Spain's Ibex 35 pulled back 0.9 percent.

Switching back to the States, in data news, jobless claims totaled 222,000, below the expected 240,000. and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing business outlook survey hit a five-month high.

Meanwhile, in the central banks sphere, the question of who will be named as the next chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve continues to linger at the back of investors' minds.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump would likely announce his decision on who will take on the role in the "coming days," according to Reuters.

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—CNBC's Holly Ellyatt and Fred Imbert contributed to this report.