(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open on the Wall Street amid tepid manufacturing data from Europe and China even as Federal Reserve's decision to extend its stimulus program weighed on the sentiment.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures added 13 points to 12,776.00. The Nasdaq Futures edged 0.75 points lower to 2,616.50. Standard and Poor's 500 futures inched up 1.10 points to 1,351.80.
On the US economic front, the number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week, a government data showed. Jobless claims fell 2,000 to 387,000 in the week ended June 16 from a revised 389,000 while economists projected 380,000 applications. Also on the tap are existing home sales for the month of May, Philadelphia Federal Reserve's manufacturing survey and the Conference Board Leading Index, all due at 10 am ET.
In global news, Eurozone private sector activity contracted to the lowest level since 2009, a survey by Markit Economics showed. The HSBC flash purchasing managers' index showed China's manufacturing activity shrank for an eighth straight month in June.
On Wednesday, U.S. stocks closed on a mixed note after the Federal Reserve reduced its economic growth projections and plans to extend its "Operation Twist" program, disappointing investors who hoped the policy makers may announce another round of quantitative easing.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: BBBY, RHT, ONXX, CAG, RAD, MU
In corporate news, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) plunged 10.21 percent in premarket after the retailer of home products guided second-quarter earnings that trailed Wall Street projections.
Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) tumbled 9.81 percent in premarket after the provider of open source software services reported first-quarter billings that came in weaker than some analysts were expecting.
Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ONXX) rallied 38.18 percent after the South San Francisco, California-based company received an unanimous recommendation for its Kyprolis blood cancer treatment from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee.
ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) added 1.79 percent in premarket. The company reported stronger-than-forecast earnings for the fourth quarter, helped by sales growth at its consumer and commercial food segments and the company forecasts "good" profit growth for 2013.
Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE:RAD) gained 4.27 percent in premarket. The Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based drugstore chain reported a narrower loss for the first quarter boosted by same store sales growth, gross margin improvement and an income tax benefit. Yet the company reduced its sales forecast for 2013, citing negative impact from new generic launches.
Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) posted a wider-than-expected loss for the third quarter amid weak margins from the Boise, Idaho-based company's flash memory products. Shares edged lower in premarket.
European markets were mixed, with Germany's DAX gaining 0.34 percent to trade at 6,413.63. France's CAC40 added 0.35 percent to trade at 3,137.42. U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.29 percent to trade at 5,605.89.
Among Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.35 percent to end at 2,262.02. Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbled 1.30 percent to close at 19,265.07. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.82 percent to end at 8,824.07. India's BSE Sensex finished at 17,032.56, up 0.80 percent.
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures declined 1.06 percent to $80.59 per barrel. Gold futures dropped 1.59 percent to $1,590.1 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro traded 0.32 percent lower against the U.S. dollar at 1.2666, and the British pound shed 0.20 percent against the greenback at 1.5687. The dollar gained 0.68 percent against the Japanese yen at 80.0800.