U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday, coming off a broad rally in the previous session, as investors looked ahead to labor market data and results from Intel, the first major technology company to report.
* A pair of bond auctions in Europe went smoothly, helping to further ease concerns over the region's sovereign debt issues. A strong auction in Portugal on Wednesday contributed to the day's advances and lifting banking shares.
* Equities have advanced since the start of December in part on hopes that earnings would be strong, though in recent sessions renewed fears over a European sovereign debt crisis have partially obscured some strong early results, including from Alcoa Inc
* Intel Corp
* Initial jobless claims are expected to decline to 405,000 in the latest week from 409,000 in the previous week. The number is the first read on the labor market since Friday's surprisingly weak payrolls report.
* The November international trade deficit is seen widening to $40.5 billion from $38.71 billion in October. Both the jobless claims and trade data will be released at 8:30 a.m. EST.
* Spain followed Portugal with a successful debt sale on Thursday, and investors showed growing confidence that governments would agree bold new measures to stem the debt crisis. A separate sale of Italian bonds also attracted strong demand.
* European stocks were slightly lower after a strong two-day rally. World stocks rose.
* S&P 500 futures fell 0.4 point, but were still 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 were off 13 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.25 point.
* JPMorgan started coverage on the telecommunications services sector with a favorable view, citing strong cash flow, stable business trends and potential improvements as the economy rebounds. The firm rated AT&T Inc
* Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)