Forexpros - U.S. stock futures pointed to a broadly lower open on Thursday, as better-than-expected data on first time jobless claims and a number of upbeat earnings results failed to ease concerns over the U.S. economic outlook.
Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a loss of 1.1%, the S&P 500 futures sank 1.1%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures fell 1.2%.
Stock futures were unchanged after official data showed that first time jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 400,000 last week, confounding expectations for an increase to 406,000.
Meanwhile, pharmaceutical firm Dendreon saw shares plummet 63.1% in pre-market trade after it reported weaker-than-expected sales of its prostate cancer drug Provenge.
The company withdrew its 2011 revenue forecast and said it now anticipates "modest" quarter-over-quarter revenue growth for the rest of the year.
Mining giant Rio Tinto saw shares drop 6.5% after warning of risks to its full-year outlook, citing "the threat of financial crises arising from sovereign debt problems in Europe and the U.S. which could destabilize commodity markets."
Clothing retailer GAP saw shares slump 1.5% after it said same-store sales fell by 5.5% in July, outstripping expectations for a 0.6% drop.
Other retailers could be active as major companies release monthly sales data throughout the day.
On the upside, packaged food giant Kraft Foods saw shares jump 7.1% after it announced plans to split itself into two listed companies, a global snacks business and a North American grocery business.
General Motors saw shares rise 2% after its second quarter earnings more than doubled to USD2.5 billion. Revenue climbed 15% to USD39.4 billion, boosted by demand for its fuel-efficient vehicles.
Other notable earnings slated for Thursday include insurance provider American International Group, oil refiner Sunoco and travel website Priceline.com.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were down, falling to an 11-month low in volatile trade. The EURO STOXX 50 shed 0.5%, France's CAC 40 declined 0.95%, Germany's DAX dropped 1%, while Britain's FTSE 100 sank 1.5%.
Earlier Thursday, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank left their respective benchmark interest rates on hold at 0.5% and 1.5%, in widely expected moves.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slumped 0.65%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.2%, after Japan intervened in currency markets to curb the yen's strength, boosting exporters.