Stock index futures fell on Thursday after soft Chinese manufacturing data and a day after Moody's warned of a potential downgrade for Spain and Wall Street ended its worst quarter since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Global equities markets were pressured after Chinese data showed moderation in the world's third-largest economy, but no precipitous drop that some investors feared.

Spain sold 3.5 billion euros of five-year bonds at the top end of its target amount but demand was below the prior auction as Moody's placed Spain on review for a potential downgrade on Wednesday.

In U.S. economic data, weekly jobless claims were set for 8:30 a.m. EDT, while U.S. pending home sales for May and the Institute for Supply Management's June manufacturing index were due at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Economists in a Reuters survey expected jobless claims to fall to 452,000 from 457,000 in the previous week. U.S. pending home sales were seen declining 12.5 percent from a 6 percent rise. The ISM manufacturing index was forecast a reading of 59.0 versus 59.7 in May.

June U.S. auto sales will be released later Thursday.

S&P 500 futures lost 2.6 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 8 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 3.75 points.

Overseas, Japan's Nikkei average closed down 2 percent, while European shares fell 1.5 percent Thursday morning, sliding below a key support level and retreating for the seventh time in eight sessions.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 <.SPX> fell below the key 1,040 level held since February, falling from what chartists called a very bearish head and shoulders trend reversal pattern, pointing to a major retreat in coming months.

For the quarter ended Wednesday, stock suffered their worst losses since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Corp.

Yahoo Inc gained 1.2 percent in extended trade Wednesday after the Internet and media group authorized a new $3 billion share buyback.

Constellation Brands Inc reported first-quarter earnings Thursday morning.

Hurricane Alex slowed BP Plc's clean-up and oil containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, even as a potential permanent fix for the leak remained weeks away. But BP's U.S.-traded shares were up 1.2 percent at $29.22 premarket.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)