Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a steady open on Thursday, ahead of U.S. data as global equity markets remained under pressure after the World Bank decided on Tuesday to lower its outlook for global economic growth.
Ahead of the open, the Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.04% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.03% uptick, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.03% rise.
Late Tuesday, the World Bank said tensions in Ukraine and bad weather in the U.S. weighed on global economic expansion in the first half of 2014 and estimated the global economy would grow 2.8% this year, down from a previous forecast of 3.2% made in January.
Meanwhile, market participants were looking ahead U.S. data on jobless claims and retail sales later in the trading day, after recent economic reports have indicated that the economy is shaking off the effects of the severe winter.
General Electric (NYSE:GE), up 0.15% in after-hour trade, was set to come back into the spotlight after saying it plans another round of lobbying meetings with French officials on its $17 billion offer for Alstom (PARIS:ALSO)''s energy assets.
Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) was also expected to be active, as Universal Music said the online retailer''s offer in exchange for access to a selection of their catalog was too low. Amazon, whose shares were up 0.24% in pre-market trade, unveiled on Wednesday night a new music streaming service to compete with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Spotify and Pandora Media (NYSE:P).
Elsewhere, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) dropped 0.61% in early trading after the chipmaker lost its challenge against a record €1.06 billion fine handed down by European Union antitrust regulators five years ago for blocking rival Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD).
In a 2009 decision, the European Commission had said that Intel tried to thwart AMD by giving rebates to PC makers Dell and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), as well as Japan''s NEC and Lenovo for buying most of their computer chips from Intel.
Other stocks likely to be in focus included Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU), scheduled to release first-quarter results later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were mixd to higher. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 added 0.12%, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.22%, Germany''s DAX edged up 0.11%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 slipped 0.11%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng slid 0.35%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 0.64%.
Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger: