Stock index futures fell on Thursday following strong gains over the past several sessions as investors awaited labor and manufacturing data for clues on the state of the economy.

The Labor Department releases first-time weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT. (1230 GMT) Economists forecast a total of 410,000 new filings, compared with 417,000 in the prior week.

At 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), the Institute for Supply Management releases its August manufacturing index. Economists look for a reading of 48.5 versus 50.9 in July.

The data may affect the outcome of a meeting next week by the U.S. Federal Reserve and comes ahead of the highly anticipated U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for August due Friday.

S&P 500 futures lost 2.7 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 50 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 4.75 points.

Data on revised second-quarter productivity and unit labor costs will be announced at 8:30 a.m. EDT. (1230 GMT) Economists forecast productivity to drop 0.5 percent, versus a 0.3 percent fall in the preliminary report. Unit labor costs were expected to rise 2.4 percent, compared with a 2.2 percent increase in the preliminary report.

July construction spending data is due at 10:00 a.m. EDT. (1400 GMT) Economists see a rise of 0.2 percent.

International Business Machines Corp is buying Toronto-based risk analytics software firm Algorithmics for $387 million to enhance its financial services capabilities.

U.S. President Barack Obama agreed to move the date of his speech on a new jobs plan to September 8, bowing to pressure from Republicans who plan a televised debate of presidential candidates on September 7.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc and two other companies agreed with the New York banking regulator to end robo-signing, in which bank employees sign foreclosure documents without reviewing case files as required by law, the Wall Street Journal said.

Slumping export demand slowed factory activity in some of Asia's biggest economies in August, although China fared better due to solid domestic growth, surveys showed on Thursday.

Resource-related stocks will be in focus as U.S. crude oil fell 0.5 percent and key base metals prices were down as much as 2.3 percent.

U.S. stocks closed out the worst month in more than a year on an upbeat note Wednesday.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)