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U.S. stocks: Futures hint at choppy session as nonfarm payrolls near

Michael Kors is among companies reporting ahead of the bell.

Wall Street was poised for another volatile session on Thursday, with stock futures rising only slightly, as investors continued to gauge whether incoming data strengthen the case for a Federal Reserve rate hike.

Jobless-claims data due out premarket are likely to be viewed in that context. But the main focus is still the top-tier jobs report on Friday, which traders have been waiting for all week.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMU5, -0.04% rose 4 points to 17,470, setting it on track for its first gain in six sessions. The blue-chip benchmark closed lower for a fifth straight session on Wednesday, weighed by a 9% loss for Walt Disney Co. DIS, -9.17% which came on the back of a mixed earnings report.

Futures for the S&P 500 index ESU5, +0.02% added 0.70 point to 2,094.75, while those for the Nasdaq 100 index NQU5, +0.09% put on 3.50 points to 4,597. Both benchmarks closed higher after a choppy session on Wednesday, when conflicting economic data created mixed expectations for the timing of the first Fed rate rise.

Jobs data:...