- Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 28 points, or 22.56 points below fair value, to 15,988. S&P 500 futures were down 3 points, or 3.2 points below fair value, to 1,822.5. Nasdaq futures were off 9.5 points, or 6.64 points below fair value, to 3,645.
- Jobless claims for the week of Feb. 15 fell 3,000 to 336,000 vs. an estimate of 335,000.
- The Consumer Price Index for January, released Thursday, increased by an as-expected 0.1%.
- The February Philadelphia Fed Index will be published at 10 a.m. EST, the same time as the Conference Board Index of Leading Indicators for January.
- The flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index for China sank to a seven-month low of 48.3 in February from the final reading of 49.5 in January. A level lower than 50 points to contraction.
- Wal-Mart (WMT) was down 1.14% to $74 in premarket trading after providing a worse-than-expected full-year outlook. The company posted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.60 a share on revenue of $129.7 billion vs. EPS expectations of $1.59 on revenue of $130.23 billion.
- Safeway (SWY) was tacking on 4.31% to $36.10 after Reuters reported on Wednesday that the company is in talks with Cerberus about a possible sale of the company.
- DirecTV (DTV) was advancing 1.8% to $74.25 after announcing a new, $3.5 billion stock repurchase program and reporting fourth-quarter results that topped expectations.
- Gap (GPS) said it's hiking its U.S. minimum hourly wage to $9 an hour in 2014 and $10 an hour next year.
- International markets were mostly in the red after the report on Chinese factory activity. The FTSE in the U.K. was down 0.3% and the DAX in Germany was 1.22% lower. The Hong Kong Hang Seng closed down 1.19% and Japan's Nikkei 225 finished off 2.15%.
- U.S. stocks fell Wednesday after Federal Reserve minutes revealed that members debated raising interest rates.
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