US stock futures mixed in light trading

View photos
FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, file photo, traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York. World stock markets were muted Thursday Sept. 12, 2013 as investors kept their guard up ahead of the release of U.S. retail sales data and next week's Federal Reserve policy meeting. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures were mixed in very light trading, with many investors heading to the sidelines ahead of the Fed's policy statement next week.

Jobs numbers released Thursday were largely ignored due to technical issues.

Dow Jones industrial futures fell 1 point to 15,329. S&P futures lost 1.1 points to hit 1,687.70. Nasdaq futures are up 3 points to 3,181.50.

The Labor Department reported that applications for unemployment benefits plunged last week, but also said that the drop was largely due to the inability of two states to include a full report. Those states upgraded computers systems and were unable to process of the applications last week.

The Treasury Department is expected to report later Thursday that the U.S. deficit shrank noticeably last month.

Yet with less than a week before the U.S. Federal Reserve releases its monthly statement and projections, most of the chatter on Wall Street is already turning to what course the central bank will take.

There are indications that the Fed will begin pulling back on the $85 billion per month it is spending on bonds to keep money flowing in U.S. and global markets.