Stock index futures held earlier gains on Thursday after data showed first-time jobless claims fell slightly more than expected in the latest week.

S&P 500 futures rose 4.3 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 gained 36 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 7.75 points.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 442,000 in the week ended March 20, the Labor Department said. Economists expected claims to slip to 450,000.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)