U.S. equity index futures are down slightly pre-market trading Thursday, as investors wait for guidance from February's nonfarm payrolls, which the BLS will release Friday morning. Wednesday's ADP private-sector jobs data bested expectations, but those data have not always been good indicators of the BLS' more closely-watched employment report

Dow Jones Industrial Average (16,825), S&P 500 (1,981) and Nasdaq 100 (4,326) futures are all down 0.1%. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is down 0.1% as well, to $34.63, continuing the pattern of close correlation between crude and stocks, while Brent crude is down 0.5% to $36.75. VIX futures have fallen 0.6%, indicated lower implied volatility, while gold, a proxy for investors' anxiety, is up 0.3% to $1,245. The picture for U.S. government bonds is mixed, with yields on 30-year bonds falling, yields on 5- and 10-year notes rising, and yields on 2-year notes flat.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 had another good session Thursday, closing up 1.0% to 16,875 after rising 1.5% Wednesday. Shanghai's SSE Composite Index closed up 0.4% to 2,860. 

In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 is down 0.4% in afternoon trading to 3,009, while the DAX is down 0.2% to 9,755. 

The U.S. dollar has fallen 0.2% against other currencies, while yen has fallen 0.4%. The euro (0.4%), pound sterling (0.1%), Canadian dollar (0.3%), Australian dollar (0.5%), New Zealand dollar (0.3%) and Swiss franc (0.1%) have strengthened.