Investors are waiting for fresh information on the European Central Bank’s stimulus plans, and they’re also due to get a reading on U.S. jobless claims.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMZ6, +0.05% edged up by 15 points, or 0.1%, to 19,532, while S&P 500 futures ESZ6, +0.04% inched higher by 1.55 points, or 0.1%, to 2,238.25. Nasdaq-100 futures NQZ6, +0.08% added 7.25 points, or 0.2%, to 4,849.
On Wednesday, the Dow DJIA, +1.55% and S&P 500 SPX, +1.32% closed higher by 1.6% and 1.3%, respectively, as each gauge scored a record close. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.14% climbed 1.1%, finishing 0.1% shy of its all-time closing high, achieved in late November.
Individual movers: Shares in Lululemon Athletica Inc. LULU, +4.54% soared 15% in premarket action. The Canadian seller of athletic apparel late Wednesday posted better-than-expected earnings and announced a new buyback plan.
Costco Wholesale Corp. COST, +1.88% was little changed in thin premarket trading after the warehouse club chain reported stronger-than-anticipated earnings late Wednesday.
Home builder Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. HOV, +0.41% is among the companies expected to post earnings before the open.
Economic news: The ECB is due to announce its rate decision at 7:45 a.m. Eastern Time, and its President Mario Draghi’s news conference is slated to start at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.
The central bank is widely expected to extend a key bond-buying program by another six months.
“A cold turkey end to the program could upset the continental economy at a politically volatile time, just ahead of spring elections in France,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, in a note.
See: Italy put a cloud over Europe, but there’s a silver lining for the ECB
A report on U.S. weekly jobless claims is slated to hit at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with economists polled by MarketWatch forecasting 258,000 claims.
The Federal Reserve entered the so-called blackout period Tuesday ahead of its meeting Dec. 13-14, so there are no Fed speakers on the docket.
Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar
Other markets: Oil futures CLF7, +0.88% traded higher, erasing some of this week’s decline. European stocks SXXP, +0.34% have been struggling for direction ahead of the ECB’s update, while Asian markets closed mostly higher. Gold futures GCZ6, +0.03% were roughly flat, and a key dollar index DXY, -0.32% was pulling back.