Stock index futures extended gains on Thursday after a government report showed a gauge of underlying labor trends fell for a fifth-straight week even as the number of new claims for jobless benefits rose slightly more than expected.

The rise is stock futures pointed to the benchmark S&P 500 index <.SPX> possibly opening near its highest levels in about nine months.

S&P 500 futures rose 8.90 points and were above 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 climbed 65 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were 14.25 points higher.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)