Stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open for U.S. shares on Thursday, ahead of data expected to show that the world's biggest economy shrank at an annualized rate of 1.5 percent in the second quarter.

At 4:55 a.m. EDT, futures for the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up between 0.1 and 0.2 percent.

The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares was flat at 973.93 points.

The second reading of U.S. Q2 GDP is expected to result in a downward revision to minus 1.5 percent on an inflation-adjusted annualized basis, compared with an original reading of minus 1.0 percent.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits are expected to have dropped to 565,000 for the week to August 22, down from 576,000 the previous week. Last week's unexpected rise added to concerns that any economic recovery will be anemic at best.

Dell will report its quarterly results, and is being counted on to shed some light on whether corporate spending on computers has begun to recover.

U.S. investors stayed cautious on Wednesday after a rally that has taken the market to 10-month highs, leaving stocks little changed despite solid reports on new home sales and durable goods orders.

Shares in American International Group rose 2 percent to $38.45 in extended trade on Wednesday following a Reuters interview with new Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche.

He said he did not favor a fire sale of the bailed-out insurer's assets and that in a year people will say AIG is performing well.

Apparel retailer Guess Inc rose 2.3 percent to $32.90 after the closing bell on Wednesday after the company released second-quarter results and provided earnings guidance for the third quarter.

Genworth Financial Inc fell 0.8 percent to $8.70 in extended trade after the financial services company filed a stock shelf, allowing it to issue shares in the future, but did not say how many shares it might issue.

Northrop Grumman Corp rose 1.9 percent after the closing bell after it said it was awarded a $2.4 billion contract related to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.

(Reporting by Brian Gorman; editing by John Stonestreet)