Stock index futures fell on Thursday after stronger-than-expected economic growth data from China heightened concerns that Beijing may further tighten monetary policy to tackle inflation.

Chinese gross domestic product grew 9.8 percent in the fourth quarter, soaring past forecasts, with inflation slowing less than expected. This may lead the country to take more aggressive steps to quell growth and keep the economy from overheating.

Inflation and the possible responses to it are what's impacting markets today, said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.

S&P 500 futures fell 3.6 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 29 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 6 points.

On the upside, Morgan Stanley , the No. 2 U.S. investment bank, posted a 60 percent jump in quarterly profit, a day after the S&P 500 suffered its worst decline in nearly two months on disappointing results from Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo .

Morgan Stanley shares were up 1.4 percent at $28.15.

Investors also awaited a flurry of quarterly results from companies such as Google Inc , Johnson Controls Inc and Advanced Micro Devices Inc .

Google is expected to report a 22 percent jump in fourth-quarter revenue, though it will face questions about long-term growth.

On the economic front, weekly jobless claims are due at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT) and existing home sales for December will come at 10 a.m. EST. (1500 GMT) Economists in a Reuters survey expected jobless claims at 420,000, down from 445,000 last week.

Analysts look for an increase in existing homes sales to 4.85 million from 4.68 million in the prior month.

Shares of networking/cloud computing companies will be in the spotlight after F5 Networks Inc forecast weak second-quarter revenue, sparking concerns that Internet traffic may not be growing as fast as expected. The stock was down 21.1 percent at $110.00 in premarket trade.

EBay Inc will also be in the spotlight after the online auctioneer offered a bullish 2011 profit outlook after the holiday quarter suggested a turnaround. The stock was up 2.1 percent at $29.70 in premarket trade.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)