Stock futures were higher on Thursday after weekly jobless claims in the U.S. increased and productivity in the third quarter rose more than expected.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.26%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 0.26%, and Nasdaq futures added 0.04%. The S&P 500 was on track to snap a seven-day losing streak, its longest in five years.
Weekly jobless claims rose to a three-month high, according to the Department of Labor. Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 7,000 to 265,000 in the past week. The less volatile, four-week average increased by 4,750 to 257,750.
U.S. productivity came in stronger than expected in the third quarter, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday. Productivity increased 3.1%, better than a 0.2% dip in the second quarter. Analysts anticipated a 2% increase. Unit labor costs rose 0.3%, weaker than an estimated 1.3% increase. Output climbed 3.4%.
Most investors were holding out for the most closely watched economic report, the monthly jobs report, that will be released on Friday. Economists anticipate 173,000 jobs to have been added to nonfarm payrolls in October, accelerating from 156,000 in September. The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 4.9% from 5%, while average hourly earnings are predicted to climb to 0.3% from 0.2%.
Uncertainty over next week's U.S. presidential election kept Wall Street on edge. Stocks have endured a volatile week after a number of polls showed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gaining momentum in electoral college and popular-vote polls. A Times/CBS News poll Thursday morning shows Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holding onto a three-point lead. The poll noted that most voters say their minds have been made up.