U.S. stock index futures were modestly lower on Thursday with technology shares in focus after cautious comments from Cisco, as investors awaited jobless data.

Cisco Systems Inc reported quarterly results that beat expectations late Wednesday, but its chief executive was cautious about the economy as the U.S. employment picture remained weak.

Cisco shares fell 2.2 percent at $26.14 before the opening bell.

Also in the tech sector, Germany software company SAP AG plans to buy smaller U.S. rival Sybase Inc for $5.8 billion to acquire technology that delivers business software to smartphones.

Initial jobless claims are due at 8:30 am EDT. First-time claims for jobless benefits are expected to dip to 440,000 last week from 444,000 the week before, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

S&P 500 futures dipped 1.3 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 fell 12 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 3 points.

Stocks capped their best three-day run in 10 months on Wednesday, boosted by tech and industrial shares, as Spain unveiled an austerity plan that reassured investors that Europe was addressing its fiscal ills.

Financial stocks could come under pressure after the New York Times reported the New York attorney general has begun an investigation into eight banks to determine whether they provided misleading data to rating agencies on mortgage securities.

With the financial reform bill being debated by lawmakers, the U.S. Senate approved an amendment to preserve Federal Reserve supervision of hundreds of smaller banks instead of transferring them to other regulators.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)