Wall Street was set to open little changed on Thursday after the Bank of England cut its main lending rate to a record low and revived its bond-buying program.
The BoE lowered the rate to 0.25 percent from 0.5 percent and said it would take “whatever action is necessary” to achieve stability in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose to 269,000 last week, but the trend continued to point to a healthy labor market. Analysts had forecast claims to drop by 1,000 to 265,000.
A recent set of strong economic data, including Wednesday’s private sector hiring numbers, can strengthen the case for the U.s. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.
However, a lot hinges on the more comprehensive monthly jobs data, which is expected on Friday.
“There is a little bit of order being restored in the market today, but (it) is in a wait-and-see period ahead of the jobs report,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive officer at Sarhan Capital.
Investors are positioning themselves for little chance of a Fed rate hike anytime soon, Sarhan said.
Traders have priced in a paltry 12 percent chance of a rate hike in September and a 35 percent chance in December, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.
Wall Street closed slightly higher on Wednesday, helped by gains in energy and financial stocks.
Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 33 points, or 0.18 percent at 8:26 a.m. ET (1226 GMT), with 23,546 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 2.5 points, or 0.12 percent, with 184,954 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 1 points, or 0.02 percent, on volume of 25,068 contracts.
The U.S. Commerce Department will release its report on manufacturing goods at 10:00 a.m. ET. The report is likely to show that new orders for factory goods fell 1.8 percent in June.
Viacom (VIAB.O) shares surged 5 percent premarket after the company reported a surprise rise in quarterly revenue.
Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT.O) rose nearly 5 percent after Janney raised its price target by $5 to $30.
Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA.O) fell 4.7 percent after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly profit, but higher costs held back gains.