U.S. stock index futures shaved their gains Thursday following some weaker-than-expected economic reports, but losses were limited amid hopes the Chinese government would step in to bolster the country's slowing growth.
Chinese stocks rebounded from multi-year lows amid speculation the government would announce steps to support the slowing markets that could include more changes to initial public reforms. In addition, China's central bank made a $57.9-billion injectioninto money markets this week, the largest in history.
The S&P 500 fell for the fifth trading day in a row on Wednesday, as euro zone concerns returned to the agenda following violent protests in Athens and Madrid.
On the economic front, the U.S. economy expanded at a tepid 1.3 percent annual rate, the slowest pace since the third quarter of 2011 and down from last month's 1.7-percent estimate, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had expected a reading of 1.7 percent.
Durable goods orders slumped by the most in 3-1/2 years, tumbling 13.2 percent in August, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had expected a decline of 5 percent.
Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims fell to its lowest level since July, falling 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 359,000, according to the Labor Department. Economists expected claims to decline to 378,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims dropped 4,500 to 374,000, snapping five straight weeks of increases.