U.S. stock futures dropped in pre-market trading Thursday after the government reported that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week. Weak earnings from Cisco also weighed the stock market.
KEEPING SCORE: Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 100 points to 15,843 shortly before the opening bell. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures dropped 12 points to 1,805 and the Nasdaq futures climbed 23 points to 3,621.
IN EUROPE: The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.9 percent at 6,617 while Germany's DAX fell 0.4 percent to 9,504. The CAC-40 in France was 0.4 percent lower at 4,288.
IN ASIA: Japan's Nikkei 225, the region's main index, dropped 1.8 percent to 14,534.74. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.5 percent to 22,165.53 while China's Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.6 percent lower at 2,098.40.
JOBLESS CLAIMS: The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 8,000 last week to 339,000, evidence that layoffs ticked up. Economist had forecast claims of 330,000.
CISCO EARNINGS: Cisco Systems fell 90 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $21.94, after the company reported Wednesday that weaker revenue and special charges weighed down its second-quarter earnings.
CABLE HOOK-UP: Comcast fell $1.34, or 2.4 percent, to $53.85 after it agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion in stock, or $158.82 per share. The deal would combine the top two cable TV companies in the United States.