Stock futures are modestly higher Thursday after new reports on unemployment and gross domestic product showed that the U.S. economy might be stabilizing.
Overseas, Asian stocks fell after China said it would cut excessive investment in some industries, while European stocks were mixed.
The Labor Department said first-time unemployment claims fell 10,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 570,000. Though jobless claims declined, it was just shy of economists expectations for 565,000.
Workers continuing to file for benefits, however, fell more than expected, declining to 6.13 million from 6.25 million in the previous week. It was the lowest level for continuing claims since early April. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had been expecting claims to total 6.2 million.
A Commerce Department report showed the nation's economy shrank at a 1 percent annualized rate in the second quarter. The updated figure was unchanged from an earlier, preliminary reading on the nation's GDP, which measures the value of all goods and services produced within the U.S.
Economists had been predicting the figure would be revised lower to a 1.5 percent decline.
Ahead of the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 23, or 0.2 percent, to 9,549. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures rose 1.60, or 0.2 percent, to 1,028.40 while Nasdaq 100 index futures rose 2.00, or 0.2 percent, to 1,639.00.
On Wednesday, the Dow rose just 4 points, while the S&P and Nasdaq eked out gains of less than 1 point despite further signs the economy might be on the mend _ a sign the market rally might be losing steam. The Commerce Department reported that new home sales rose 9.6 percent in July for the fourth straight monthly increase. The department also said factory orders for goods expected to last at least three years rose 4.9 percent in July, the biggest jump in two years and easily eclipsing economists' expectations.
Overseas, Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 1.6 percent. In afternoon trading, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent, Germany's DAX index fell 0.2 percent, and France's CAC-40 rose 0.3 percent.