Stock index futures held early losses on Thursday after the government reported that the number of people filing initial claims for unemployment insurance rose less than expected.

S&P 500 futures fell 2.9 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 lost 24 points and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 3 points.

Initial claims rose by only 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 434,000 in the week ended January 2 after declining for two consecutive weeks. Economists forecast a 447,000 figure for the latest week.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)