What to watch, courtesy of Yahoo! Finance's Elizabeth Trotta:
World stocks were mostly higher and U.S. futures are pointing toward a flat to higher open ahead of the latest round of economic data — jobless claims, the trade balance, oil inventories, and consumer credit — and President Obama's jobs plan.
*Obama will lay out the framework for a more than $300 billion stimulus plan in a highly anticipated joint session of Congress on jobs this evening.
* Britain's central bank left its key rate at 0.5%, with the possibility of restarting its quantitative easing program if conditions continue to deteriorate. The European Central Bank also kept its interest rate steady at 1.5% in light of the developing crisis, pausing efforts to increase rates.
*Senior politicians now talking openly about the possibility of Athens exiting the euro zone as Greece fails to meet fiscal targets that were conditions for its international bailout, Bloomberg reports.
*Fitch Ratings warned Thursday that it might downgrade China's credit rating within two years as banks struggle with debt loads following a lending surge used to buoy the economy during the financial crisis. It also said Japan could see a downgrade due to its heavy public debt and a political standstill.
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims (prior 409K)
8:30 Trade Balance (prior -53.1B)
11 a.m. Crude Inventories (prior 5.281M)
1 p.m. Consumer Credit (prior $15.5B)