U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday ahead of jobs and productivity data and same-store sales numbers from major U.S. retailers.
* The sales data kicked off with Costco Wholesale Corp
* Investors eyeing the key government payrolls and unemployment data due Friday may mute the reaction to Thursday's jobless claims numbers.
* We are in a consolidation phase, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York. I suspect the market will move sideways today in anticipation of tomorrow's jobs data.
* Initial weekly jobless claims, due at 8:30 a.m. EST, are set to fall to 523,000 from 530,000 in the previous week, according to a Reuters poll.
* Cardillo said only a large swing in applications for unemployment insurance could be a market mover.
* S&P 500 futures edged lower 0.9 point but were 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 fell 5 points and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 3 points.
* After the closing bell on Wednesday, Cisco Systems Inc
* As investors look for a signal on a rebound in consumer spending, retail chains are seen posting positive same-store sales results for October. Sales are expected to have risen 1.2 percent overall, according to Thomson Reuters data. Consumer spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of the U.S. economy.
* The Bank of England left interest rates at a record low of 0.5 percent for the eighth month running, as expected.
* On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 0.3 percent, after rising as much as 1.6 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> edged up 0.1 percent.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, editing by W Simon )