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The major futures indexes are indicating a decline of 0.6 percent when trading on Wall Street begins.
The Labor Department is expected to say the number of claims for unemployment benefits fell for the seventh week in a row to 2.4 million. That would be down from 3 million in the prior week.
Since the coronavirus lockdowns were initiated in mid-March, 36.47 million people have filed jobless claims. An additional 2.4 million would bring that total to 38.87 million.
Asian stock markets were mixed Thursday after Wall Street rose despite Chinese trade tensions with Washington.
The Trump administration has stepped up a feud over Beijing’s industrial ambitions by tightening controls on use of U.S. technology by tech giant Huawei.
China's Shanghai Composite was off 0.6 percent, the Nikkei in Tokyo slipped 0.2 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.5 percent.
In Europe, London's FTSE slipped 0.9 percent, Germany's DAX declined 1.4 percent and France's CAC fell 1 percent.
Wall Street rebounded on Wednesday, propelled by gains for tech stocks, communications companies and banks.
The benchmark S&P 500 index gained 1.7 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.5 percent and the Nasdaq composite climbed 2.1 percent.
Japan reported its exports fell 22 percent in April from the year before while imports skidded 7 percent as the pandemic hit demand for autos, chemicals and machinery.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 63 cents to $34.12 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.53 on Wednesday to $33.49. Brent crude added 58 cents to $36.37 per barrel in London. It rose $1.10 the previous session to $35.75.
The price of oil has made a comeback this month as producing nations cut output and the gradual reopening of economies drove up demand. Crude started the year at about $60 a barrel but plummeted as demand sank due to travel and business shutdowns.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.