The higher number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits took Wall Street by surprise last week as the U.S. Labor Department wades through a backlog of applications from Puerto Rico. Despite the temporary influx of claims as a result of the weather-related destruction on the island, the underlying trend hinted at tightening labor markets.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 249,000 for the week ended Nov. 11, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
U.S. industrial production, meanwhile, rose 0.9 percent in October versus a 0.5 percent increase expected by a Reuters survey of economists. Industrial production gained 0.3 percent in September.
A number of U.S. Federal Reserve are set to deliver remarks Thursday. In Michigan, Governor Lael Brainard will be speaking at the Financial Stability Conference; while Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan will be in Houston, Texas, speaking at a CFA Society Houston event.
Elsewhere, House Republicans passed their tax reform bill today, despite lingering resistance seen from some Republicans.
—CNBC's Jacob Pramuk and Gina Francolla contributed to this report.