NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock index futures slipped on Thursday as a sense of spiking geopolitical risk and an uncertain economic climate weighed on sentiment.
U.S. initial jobless claims increased by 11,000 to 315,000 in the week ended Sept. 6, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
U.S. stock indices picked up some momentum in the final hour of trading to finish positive Wednesday, bolstered by the information technology sector. Stocks had fluctuated for much of the day on uncertainties surrounding the approaching Sept. 18 Scottish independence referendum and the possibility of a global shift in interest rates.
Geopolitical jitters mounted Thursday as investors worried about rising conflict in the Middle East. President Obama outlined in a televised address Wednesday evening his plan to destroy militants from the group Islamic State. The president also said he's authorizing U.S. airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, along with expanded strikes in Iraq, as part of the campaign to intensify the battle against the Islamic State extremists.
"Right now Obama said he's upping the game for what's going on with ISIS. Some might feel a bit unsettled because the involvement has got the potential for escalation ... to the point where it disrupts business operations," said Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist with Voya Investment Management.
European stock indices fell on Thursday, taking their cue from declining Chinese indices after price data pointed to economic weakness.
Meanwhile, the United States Oil Fund ETF (USO) shed 1.2% to $33.85 in premarket trading after the International Energy Agency trimmed its global oil demand growth for 2014 and 2015 to 0.9 million barrels per day and 1.2 million barrels a day, respectively, citing a pronounced slowdown in demand growth in the second quarter of this year and a weaker outlook for Europe and China.
In corporate news, Twitter (TWTR) , the social media company, was down 0.83% to $52.47 after saying on Wednesday it would reach into the debt markets for the first time. Lululemon Athletica (LULU) , the athletic and yoga apparel company, reported second-quarter earnings fell almost 14% to $48.7 million, or 33 cents a share, from a year-earlier profit of $56.5 million, or 39 cents a share. T-Mobile (TMUS) plans to sell more than 100 smartphone models with a built-in feature that taps into Wi-Fi networks to make phone calls and send texts when customers can't connect to the wireless carrier's cellular network.
The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was down 0.87% to $119.21.
--By Andrea Tse in New York