U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open for Wall Street on Thursday, building on gains from the previous session, when shares were boosted by upbeat economic data.

At 1002 GMT (6:02 a.m. EDT), futures for the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up between 0.7 and 0.9 percent.

The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares was down 0.2 percent at 742.27 points, having risen for the past five consecutive sessions, with retailers Hennes & Mauritz and Kingfisher both down more than 5 percent after results.

At 1230 GMT (8:30 a.m. EDT), the final reading for U.S. GDP is expected to show that the amount of goods and services produced in the economy shrank at an annual rate of 6.5 percent, more than the preliminary reading of 6.2 percent.

Weekly jobless data, also due at 1230 GMT (8:30 a.m. EDT), are expected to show initial claims edging up to 650,000 from 646,000, and continuing claims rising to 5.48 million from 5.47 million.

At 1400 GMT (10 a.m. EDT), U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is set to outline proposals for new, tougher requirements on major financial firms to protect the financial system and new rules to prevent financial fraud and abuse against consumers and investors.

Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart said one month of improved data does not constitute an economic recovery and recession in the United States will last for at least a few more months.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group is among companies reporting.

U.S. auto industry sales are showing no signs of recovery from a weak start to the year, the president of Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> said, as rival Honda Motor Co <7267.T> announced further delays to the start of a new factory in Japan.

Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group <8306.T> and Morgan Stanley will merge their Japanese brokerage units to chase industry leaders Nomura Holdings <8604.T> and Daiwa Securities Group <8601.T>.

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday as unexpectedly strong housing and durable goods data fueled hopes the economy is finally on the mend

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI>, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> and the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose between 0.8 and 1.2 percent.

(Reporting by Brian Gorman)