European stocks were lower while Asian shares ended the trading session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1%.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes jobless claims for the week ended Jan. 12, and the Commerce Department's release of housing starts and permits for December. Both reports are due at 8:30 a.m. EST.
U.S. stocks on Wednesday finished mixed as investors remained cautious about the fourth-quarter earnings season following reports from JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 24 points, or 0.2%, to 13,511.
Boeing's (BA) 787 Dreamliner has been grounded in Europe after the United States grounded the planes and ordered a safety review following a series of recent incidents with the aircraft.
Bank of America (BAC) is expected by Wall Street Thursday to post fourth-quarter earnings of 2 cents share, flat with the third quarter and below the 15 cents the bank earned a year earlier. Citigroup (C), the third-largest bank in the U.S,. is expected by analysts Thursday to post fourth-quarter earnings of 87 cents a share, up from 32 cents a share a year earlier.
Chipmaker Intel reports fourth-quarter earnings after Thursday's closing bell and analysts forecast a profit of 45 cents a share, down from 64 cents a year earlier.
Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) shares climbed Wednesday following a news report that potential purchasers are evaluating the company's Autonomy and EDS units.
EBay (EBAY) posted fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of 70 cents a share, a penny above analysts' forecasts, and 17% higher than adjusted earnings a year earlier. Revenue rose 18% to almost $4 billion, in line with analysts' forecasts. EBay said it expects first-quarter adjusted earnings of 60 cents to 62 cents a share on revenue of $3.65 billion to $3.75 billion. Analysts are looking for adjusted profit of 64 cents a share on revenue of $3.8 billion.
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