Updated from 7:48 a.m.
Stock futures slid on the final trading day of the year after weekly jobless claims rose faster than expected.
S&P 500 futures slid 0.3%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.3%, and Nasdaq futures were down 0.2%.
The number of new claims for unemployment benefits rose 20,000 to 287,000 for the week ended December 26, according to the Labor Department. Economists had expected jobless claims to increase to just 270,000. The job market has shown robust growth this year, one of the reasons the Federal Reserve felt justified in raising rates earlier in the month.
Equities have been on a wild ride this year, with driving forces including geopolitical fears in the Middle East, risk of default in Greece, a slowing Chinese economy, the Fed's first rate increase in nearly a decade, and the overall threat of plunging oil prices.
Thursday's session will determine whether the S&P 500 ends the year with gains or losses. Currently, the benchmark index is a fraction higher for 2015.
Crude oil prices were little changed on Thursday after big swings earlier in the week. West Texas Intermediate crude oil has tumbled more than 30% this year as record production from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries kept oversupply fears in focus, while a weakened Chinese economy inflamed demand concerns. WTI crude oil was trading at $36.58 a barrel on Thursday morning.
Lockheed Martin (LMT) - Get Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) Report shares moved slightly higher in premarket trading after the Pentagon awarded the defense company with a $1.1 billion contract to build 32 C-130J aircrafts. The vehicles are often used for special operations, aerial refueling and search-and-rescue missions. The project is expected to be completed by April 2020.
Chimerix (CMRX) - Get Chimerix, Inc. Report added nearly 7% after billionaire Steven Cohen's investment firm Point72 Asset Management disclosed a 5.3% stake in the biotech company. Shares tanked 80% earlier this week after the company said its antiviral drug had failed to reduce infection in stem-cell transplant patients.