NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures slipped but trimmed losses after weekly U.S. jobless claims fell at a faster-than-expected pace.
S&P 500 futures fell 0.13%, Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.13%, and Nasdaq futures were down 0.4%.
Initial jobless claims for the week ended April 24dropped 34,000 to 262,000. Economists had expected a reading of 288,000 after 296,000 a week earlier.
Real personal income dipped 0.2% in March compared to an expected increase of 0.2%. Personal income increased 0.3% in February. Personal spending was also lower than expected, increasing 0.3% from a flat reading the month earlier, though below an estimated 0.5% increase.
Japan's Nikkei closed nearly 3% lower after the Bank of Japan left interest rates unchanged, as economists had expected. Meanwhile, China's Shanghai Composite dropped 0.78% after steel demand fell 6% in the first quarter, the first decline for that quarter in the past 20 years.
European markets were all lower despite eurozone deflation pausing in April. The region's Consumer Price Index was flat in April, its first neutral reading after months of negative data. German unemployment fell in April, though at a slower-than-expected pace.
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) was slightly higher in premarket trading despite reporting a 56% decline in first-quarter earnings. The oil giant has suffered from plummeting commodity markets since prices began their descent last summer.
Exxon Mobil rose 1.6% after first-quarter earnings of $1.17 a share beat estimates by 35 cents. Revenue of $67.62 billion plummeted 36.7% from a year earlier.
Time Warner Cable increased nearly 1% before the bell despite missing quarterly estimates on its top- and bottom-lines. The cable giant earned $1.65 a share, lower than an estimated $1.88. Sales climbed 3.5% to $5.78 billion, below expectations for $5.83 billion.
Salesforce.com (CRM) soared 11.6% Wednesday afternoon after Bloomberg reported the company is working with financial advisers to field takeover offers. Shares were briefly halted due to volatility. Shares continued their climb in premarket trading on Thursday, adding another 1.2% to $75.55.
Yelp shares plummeted 16.8% after issuing weak guidance in its second quarter and full year. Second-quarter revenue is expected between $131 million to $134 million, below estimates of $138.4 million.
Sony (SNE) shares slid 1% after reporting a net loss of 126 billion yen over fiscal 2015, its sixth loss in seven years as it faces troubles in its smartphone business and the fallout from hacking attacks.
Apple (AAPL) shares were on watch after the company disclosed the European Commission could require Ireland to recover past taxes over the past decade. The world's largest company said such tax payments could be "material."
In addition, The Wall Street Journal reported a key component of the Apple Watch made by one of two suppliers was found to be defective, limiting the availability of the new product.
Crude oil hit its highest level this year on Thursday, continuing to benefit from data on Wednesday which showed crude inventories in the U.S. had added 1.9 million barrels over the week ended April 24. Analysts had expected an increase of 2.3 million barrels after inventories added 5.3 million barrels the week earlier. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 1% to $59.15 a barrel.