The pullback in oil prices is weighing on U.S. stock futures, which had been pointing higher earlier but are now solidly in the red.
Ahead of the opening bell, futures for the Dow Jones Industrials faded 71 points, or 0.4%, to 16,192, futures for the S&P 500 slipped 9.5 points, or 0.5%, to 1,899. NASDAQ futures sagged 22.75 points, or 0.6%, to 4,148.75.
Oil prices spiked 8% on Wednesday after the release of a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing the country continued to stockpile high levels of crude oil. But experts said the storage levels were actually smaller than expected.
Oil giants Shell and Statoil reported sharply lower earnings as they struggle with depressed oil prices.
Other energy giants such as ConocoPhillips, Valero and Occidental Petroleum will issue quarterly updates before trading begins.
New York Times and Dunkin' Brands also report this morning.
After the closing bell, the markets will hear from companies including LinkedIn, Lions Gate Entertainment and News Corp.
Shares in Viacom and CBS could shoot higher when trading begins after CBS announced ailing media mogul Sumner Redstone is resigning as chairman. CBS CEO Leslie Moonves is taking his place.
European markets are mixed, while nearly all Asian markets ended with healthy gains.
Oil prices dipped 49 cents to $31.79 U.S. a barrel
Gold prices hiked $9.87 to $1,152.50 U.S. an ounce.
Source: WallSt Money US Market Commentary
(February 4, 2016 - 10:04 AM EST)
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