Stock futures are mixed on Thursday as investors held out for a rush of manufacturing data before Friday's nonfarm payrolls report.
S&P 500 futures were down 0.06%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures edged slightly higher, and Nasdaq futures slid 0.15%.
Initial jobless claims rose in the past week, though remained at multi-year lows. The number of new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 17,000 to 268,000 in the week ended Nov. 26, according to the Labor Department. Analysts had anticipated a reading of 255,000. The less-volatile, four-week average climbed 500 to 251,500.
Other economic data to be released Thursday include the PMI Manufacturing Index and ISM Manufacturing Index for November and construction spending for October.
The U.S. jobs report for November, one of the most closely watched pieces of data of the month, will be under an even more intense spotlight on Friday as investors look for confirmation the Federal Reserve will pull the trigger on interest rates at their December meeting. Economists anticipate 180,000 jobs to have been added to the U.S. economy in November and for the unemployment rate to hold at 4.9%.
"Another healthy report reflecting job growth near its recent trend (175k-195k) will give the Fed added comfort to lift rates in December, though the bar for a rate move is low in our view and any print at or above the break-even pace (roughly 100k) is likely sufficient," TD Securities analysts wrote in a note.
The U.S. economy added 161,000 jobs in October, 10,000 short of estimates but generally showcasing robust workforce trends. Average hourly earnings also rose to their highest since July, while year-over-year earnings increased to their best since 2009.