Stock futures pointed to a weaker start on Wall Street on Thursday, mirroring minimal losses in Europe, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 down 0.03 to 0.3 percent.
The Labor Department releases first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended October 13 at 8.30 a.m. EDT. Economists forecast a total of 365,000 new filings, compared with 339,000 in the prior week.
China likely hit the bottom of a seven-quarter long economic downturn between July and September, but the slowest three months of growth since the depths of the financial crisis and a cloudy housing market outlook make recovery prospects tepid.
European leaders will try to bridge deep differences over plans for a banking union at a summit on Thursday but no substantial decisions are expected, reviving concerns about complacency in tackling the three-year-old debt crisis.
Verizon Communications Inc
The Conference Board releases its report on September leading economic indicators at 10 a.m. EDT. Economists forecast a 0.2 percent rise, against a 0.1 percent drop in August.
Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank releases September business activity survey at 10 a.m. EDT. Economists forecast a reading of 1.0, versus -1.9 in August.
American Express Co
European shares <.FTEU3> fell 0.1 percent on Thursday on concerns over corporate earnings.
The S&P 500 rose for the third consecutive day on Wednesday after housing starts hit a four-year high, but the Dow was weighed down by IBM after it posted weak revenue.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 5.22 points, or 0.04 percent, to 13,557 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 5.99 points, or 0.41 percent, to finish at 1,460.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> advanced 2.95 points, or 0.10 percent, to close at 3,104.12.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by Patrick Graham)