US stock index futures were muted on Thursday as investors supported another stumbling weekly unemployment claims figure, the latest evidence of a decelerating economic recovery from a pandemic-fueled recession.

Report from the Labor Department, due at 8:30 am. ET, is likely to indicate 840,000 Americans filed for jobless benefits in the week ended September 19. Although vaguely down from 860,000 in the previous week, it would still signal a cooling in the labour market’s bounce.

Wall Street’s major indexes have slipped this month, with the S&P 500 drifting just over correction territory on waning hopes of more financial stimulus, indications of rough economic growth and a sell-off in heavyweight technology-oriented names.