NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were modestly higher after consumer prices in the U.S. continued to show weakness and weekly jobless claims pointed to a tightening labor market.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.28%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures added 0.31%, and Nasdaq futures gained 0.28%.
Consumer prices in May rose 0.4%, below estimates for an increase of 0.5%. Core CPI rose 0.1%, below economists' forecasts of a 0.2% increase excluding volatile items such as food and energy.
Weekly jobless claims fell to 267,000 in the week ended June 12, after a 279,000 reading a week earlier. Economists expected the number of people filing unemployment benefits claims to fall to 276,000.
Markets were also boosted by the Federal Reserve's decision on Wednesday to leave interest rates unchanged at near-zero crises levels for another month. However, the Fed signaled it is prepared to move later this year, according to a press release. Click here for more.
"They do want to demonstrate to the markets that they are ready, willing and able to raise rates," said David Schiegoleit, managing director for investments at U.S. Bank's Private Client Reserve, in a call. "The Federal Reserve is loathed to get behind the curve when it comes to inflation"
European stocks fell again as Greece's unresolved debt problems weighed on markets. Eurozone finance ministers are pushing Greece to introduce a round of austerity measures in exchange for further debt relief in a Eurogroup meeting Thursday. Greece has until the end of the month to repay its debts to the International Monetary Fund. Click here for more.