U.S. futures edge higher as markets turn to data; Dow Jones up 0.10%
Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.10% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.09% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.22% increase.
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama said the U.S. has concluded that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack near Damascus, but added that he had not yet made a decision about whether to intervene militarily.
The comments came a day after British Prime Minister David Cameron drafted a United Nations resolution condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria and "authorizing necessary measures to protect civilians".
The telecom sector was expected to be active, following reports British company Vodafone is in talks to sell its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless to U.S. partner Verizon Communications in what would be the biggest deal in more than a decade.
The sale of the holding could reportedly amount to about USD130 billion. Shares in Verizon Communications surged 3.41% in pre-market trade.
In more company news, Francesca's Holdings shares rose 0.33% in extended trading, as the women's boutique operator was projected to boost sales by 80% during the next three years, faster than any other apparel chain, according to a Bloomberg report.
Elsewhere, Hanesbrands was slated to move, as the fourth straight year of surplus cotton output and the biggest drop in Chinese imports since 2000 were said to be creating record global inventories, signaling higher profits for the U.S. underwear company.
Other stocks likely to be in focus included Campbell Soup, Pall and Signet Jewelers, scheduled to report second-quarter earnings later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were mixed to higher. The EURO STOXX 50 dipped 0.02%, France's CAC 40 added 0.13%, Germany's DAX edged up 0.18%, while Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.43%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 0.84, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index jumped 0.91%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish revised data on second quarter growth and the weekly report on initial jobless claims.
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