NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock index futures were weaker in premarket trading following data that pointed to a firmer U.S. labor market while durable goods orders plunged, as expected.
U.S. weekly initial jobless claims came in at 293,000 compared to the 300,000 analysts estimated. Durable goods orders for August tanked 18.2% but that was in line with the 18% decline expected by economists. Durable goods orders rose 22.5% in July, led mostly be new contracts for Boeing (BA) jets.
A stronger dollar was weighing on equity futures while dampening the appeal of gold. The euro on Thursday dropped to a 14-month low against the U.S. dollar on dovish remarks from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. The euro was trading at $1.27181 early Thursday.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Building on a strong showing in U.S. new home sales for August, U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday to reverse three days of declines. Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans on Wednesday maintained his dovish views, also bringing cheer to the markets.
"After last week's long list of events the last trading days of the quarter are likely to dampen investors' enthusiasm for stocks," cautioned Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at New York-based Rockwell Global Capital. "We see the indices shifting gears towards traditional seasonal weakness in the intermediate term as the market awaits the advent of the third-quarter earnings reports."
On the U.S. economic calendar, the Markit "flash" PMI services index for September is due out at 9:45 a.m. EDT. Atlanta Fed Bank President Dennis Lockhart, often thought to be a good bellwether of consensus thinking at the Federal Open Market Committee, will begin speaking on the economic outlook and monetary policy at 1:20 p.m.
In individual stock news, Apple (AAPL) pulled its iOS 8.0.1 update mere hours after releasing it as a fix for reported bugs with the iOS 8 update the tech giant released last week. The stock was down 0.82% in premarket trading.
Jabil Circuit (JBL) popped 4.32% after the electronic components manufacturer and Apple supplier gave a stronger-than-expected quarterly outlook following Apple's strong iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales.
Nike (NKE) is expected by analysts to report after the markets close on Thursday fiscal first-quarter earnings of 88 cents a share on sales of $7.83 billion after the market close.
Micron Technology (MU) is forecast to post fiscal fourth-quarter profit on Thursday of 81 cents a share on revenue of $4.16 billion.
H.B. Fuller (FUL) dipped 5.12% after the specialty chemical products maker provided fourth-quarter earnings guidance of between 60 cents to 70 cents share, missing the average analyst estimate of 85 cents.
-- By Andrea Tse and Kurumi Fukushima in New York