(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower opening on the Wall Street as data from China and Europe raised worries about global growth.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures dropped 43 points to 13,454. The Nasdaq futures shed 8.25 points to 2,845.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures fell 5.50 points to 1,447.70.
On the domestic data front, the number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits fell last week, a government data showed, though coming in higher than expected. Jobless claims declined 3,000 to 382,000 for the week ended Sept. 15 from a revised 385,000, while economists projected 375,000 applications.
At 10 am ET, a manufacturing survey from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve may show the index remained in negative, with a reading of minus 4 for September from minus 7.1 in August.
Another data may show that the Conference Board's U.S. leading economic indicators index for August may remain unchanged.
In global news, a report by Markit Economics showed activity in euro-zone's manufacturing sector fell at a slower rate in September. China purchasing managers' index increased to 47.8 in September from 47.6 in August, with a reading below 50 indicates contraction.
On Wednesday, U.S. stocks closed modestly higher, weighed by the Bank of Japan's decision to expand its stimulus measures and solid domestic housing data.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: ADBE, BBBY, DNR, CAG, NSC, KMX, RAD, SWKS
In corporate news, Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) reported in-line quarterly earnings and the software company guided fourth quarter below Wall Street view. Shares edged lower in premarket.
ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) reported stronger-than-forecast quarterly earnings helped by sales growth at its consumer and commercial food segments and the company raised earnings forecast for 2013, sending its shares up 5.07 percent in premarket.
Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE:RAD) added 2.29 percent in premarket after the company posted a narrower-than-expected loss for the second quarter boosted by continued front end sales and prescription count growth as well as an improvement in gross margin. Yet the drugstore chain reduced its sales forecast for 2013, citing negative impact from new generic launches and continued reimbursement rate pressure.
Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC) plunged 6.26 percent in premarket after the railroad company forecasts third-quarter earnings below market expectations, citing a fall in coal and merchandise shipments as well as a decline in fuel surcharge revenue.
Denbury Resources Inc. (NYSE:DNR) jumped 8.19 percent in premarket after the oil and natural gas company agreed to sell its Bakken assets in North Dakota and Montana to Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) in a deal valued at $1.6 billion in cash and interests in certain fields.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) retreated 5.51 percent in premarket after the retailer of home products posted second-quarter earnings that trailed market expectations. The Union, New Jersey-based company forecasts earnings per share (EPS) of $0.99 to $1.04, while consensus estimates call in for EPS of $1.02 for the third quarter ending November.
CarMax Inc. (NYSE:KMX), a retailer of used cars, reported flat quarterly earnings, missing market expectations. Yet, sales topped consensus. Shares dropped 1.66 percent in premarket.
Skyworks Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ:SWKS) shed 5.87 percent in premarket after the semiconductor company updated its financial outlook for the fourth quarter.
European markets traded in red, with Germany's DAX down 0.42 percent to trade at 7,359.80. France's CAC40 fell 0.78 percent to trade at 3,504.33. U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.66 percent to trade at 5,849.86.
Asian markets closed lower, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index down 2.08 percent to finish at 2,024.84. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.57 percent to end at 9,086.98. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled 1.20 percent to close at 20,590.92. India's BSE Sensex closed at 18,349.25, down 0.79 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures retreated 0.34 percent to $91.67 per barrel. Gold futures dropped 0.27 percent to $1,767.0 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro shed 0.85 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2937 and the British pound dipped 0.30 percent to 1.6173. The dollar slipped 0.31 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.1400.