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U.S. stock-index futures fell mildly after the European Central Bank kept its policy on hold and traders eyed better-than-expected jobless claims data.
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As of 8:36 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 23 points, or 0.13%, to 16446, S&P 500 futures fell 5.5 points, or 0.29%, to 1869 and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 16.5 points, or 0.47%, to 3524.
Wall Street logged a decidedly mixed performance on Wednesday, with the broad markets rising, but tech shares getting hit hard. That trend appeared to be ending on Thursday, with Nasdaq 100 futures in the green.
The U.S. economic docket is fairly quiet. The Labor Department said the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 319,000 from an upwardly revised 345,000 the week prior. Wall Street was looking for claims to fall to 325,000 from an initially reported 344,000.
The weekly data can be volatile, but generally, economists expect the economy to be bounce back this quarter from the chilling effects of a harsh Winter.
The European Central Bank also held its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.25%. The ECB has held rates at historic lows amid concerns about low levels of inflation. President Mario Draghi will be holding a closely-watched press conference later in the day.
On the corporate front, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) said it would chop 7,000 investment banking jobs by 2016 as it restructures the company. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) posted upbeat headline results, but a disappointing outlook sent the electric car maker's shares heading sharply to the downside.
Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 20 cents, or 0.2%, to $100.56 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.09% to $2.921 a gallon. Gold edged higher by 0.12% to $1,294 a troy ounce.