Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a steady open on Thursday, ahead of U.S. jobless claims data later in the day, while lower expectations for the Federal Reserve to taper its stimulus program this month mildly supported equity markets.
Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.07% dip, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.09% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.03% gain.
Global equities found support after data last week showed that U.S. the economy added slightly fewer jobs than expected in August.
The soft data raised some doubts over whether the U.S. central bank will start to unwind its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program at its upcoming policy meeting on September 17-18.
Markets were also focusing on developments on the Syrian front, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov were to meet in Geneva later in the day to discuss Moscow's suggestion that Syria surrender its chemical weapons to international control.
Facebook was likely to remain in focus, after the company's stock climbed over a 3% to an all-time high on Wednesday, as investors bet the company will benefit from growing demand for its mobile-advertising products.
Shares rallied 1.47% in pre-market trade.
Also in the Internet field, Yahoo! Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer said the Web portal has surpassed 800 million active monthly users, marking a 20% increase since she joined the company in July 2012.
Yahoo shares advanced 0.75% in early trading.
Qualcomm was also expected to be active, after the semiconductor company said its board authorized a new USD5 billion share repurchase program to return more money to investors.
Meanwhile, Verizon Communications reportedly paid banks including JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley USD265.3 million in fees to underwrite the telephone carrier's record USD49 billion bond sale on Wednesday.
Other stocks likely to be in focus included Kroger, Lululemon and Ulta Salon, scheduled to report second-quarter earnings later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The EURO STOXX 50 slipped 0.15%, France's CAC 40 declined 0.43%, Germany's DAX fell 0.23%, while Britain's FTSE 100 shed 0.34%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 0.07%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slid 0.26%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on jobless claims.
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