U.S. stock-index futures on Thursday appeared to gain some altitude after a batch of economic reports underscored an ugly trend of deterioration in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -1.11% were trading up 128 points, or 0.5%, at 23,515, but had been showing meager gains before the data. S&P 500 index futures /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.34% were up 19.40 points, or 0.7%, at 2,795, while Nasdaq-100 futures /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -2.11% were up 97.75 points, or 1.1%, at 8,688. Claims for those seeking unemployment benefits rose to 5.25 million, bringing the total people seeking unemployment insurance to well over 20 million, reflecting the rapid decline of an economy that had been humming along just a month ago. Meanwhile, data on housing starts and business activity in the Philadelphia area also was weaker than expected, coming after a batch of bad data on Wednesday, which including woeful retail sales and manufacturing activity. On Thursday, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index in April dropped to -56.6 after registering -12.5 in March, marking the lowest reading since July 1980. And a report on housing starts came in at the lowest level since July 2019.