KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 25 points to 15,991 as of 8:56 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell three points to 1,822 and the Nasdaq futures slipped eight points to 3,647.
CHINA SLOWDOWN: China's manufacturing contracted for a second straight month in February. The preliminary version of the HSBC Corp. purchasing managers' index fell to a seven-month low of 48.3 from January's 49.5 on a 100-point scale. Numbers below 50 show activity contracting.
FACEBOOK DEAL: Facebook shares slipped $1.46, or 2.1 percent, to $66.60 in premarket trading after the world's biggest social network announced a $19 billion purchase of the popular messaging service WhatsApp late Wednesday. Wall Street analysts had mixed feelings about the deal and the price that Facebook paid.
TESLA EARNINGS: Tesla Motors jumped $23.16, or 12 percent, to $216.80 in premarket trading after the electric car maker delivered a strong fourth-quarter performance late Wednesday and said it expects the company's vehicle sales to rise sharply this year.
U.S. HIRING: The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell a slight 3,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 336,000, the Labor department said Thursday. The report was in line with economists' expectations.
TREASURIES COMMODITIES: The yield on the 10-year note was little changed from Wednesday at 2.71 percent. The price of oil fell 24 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $102.61.