Futures are getting smoked

Stock futures are sliding ahead of the market open on Thursday.

Near 8:53 a.m. ET, Dow futures were down 142 points, S&P 500 futures were off 15 points, and Nasdaq futures was off 38. The three indexes were down nearly 1%, and its a 5th straight down day on Wall Street.

We got some economic data this morning. Initial jobless claims rose less than expected last week, by 3,000 to 267,000. And, durable goods orders fell 2%, while “core” durable goods orders fell 0.2% in August.

New home sales numbers are due at 10:00 a.m. ET.

But the most anticipated event is Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s speech at 5:00 p.m. ET. She will be speaking on inflation at the University of Massachusetts exactly a week after the FOMC left interest rates unchanged, citing sluggish inflation and global economic concerns.

Meanwhile, the same theme that has recently plagued markets continues, and that is uncertainty.

Over in Europe, the emissions scandal deepened overnight as we learned via a German media report that BMW‘s X3 Xdrive 20d exceeds European standards by 11 times. The company denied the report, and its stock fell by as much as 8%.

This comes one day after Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned following his admission that the company cheated diesel emission rules. Its shares were all over the place in trading, rallying 8% in Frankfurt before giving back all the gains.

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