Ahead of the opening bell Thursday, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 41, or 0.3 percent, at 12,071. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are up 5, or 0.4 percent, at 1,282. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 8, or 0.3 percent, at 2,255.
The Labor Department will report on the number of new applications for unemployment benefits last week. The number is expected to dip slightly from last week to 419,000. A number below 375,000 signals jobs are growing.
The government will report on the size of the trade deficit in April. Economists expect the deficit to have widened slightly from its March level.