Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.3 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.2 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.21 percent at 5:12 a.m. EDT.

China's economy started 2010 at a cracking pace, reporting surprisingly strong 11.9 percent year-on-year growth in the first quarter.

United Parcel Service Inc will be in the spotlight after saying its first-quarter earnings per share would be much higher than it had expected and raising its outlook for the year, sending its shares up 4 percent in after-hours trading.Shares of the company traded in Frankfurt were up 7 percent.

MGM Mirage on Wednesday projected a wider-than-expected loss for the first quarter due to weak results in Las Vegas, including the company's new $8.5 billion CityCenter development, sending its shares down 4.5 percent in extended trading. Shares in the company traded in Frankfurt were down 6.9 percent.

Companies scheduled to report quarterly results on Thursday include Google Inc , Advanced Micro Devices , PPG Industries
and People's United Financial
, while economic indicators include March industrial output, the Philadelphia Fed business index for April, the April NAHB housing market index and overall net capital flow data for February.

Oil rose past $86 on Thursday to within a dollar of 18-month highs as surging Chinese economic growth cemented expectations of a rebalancing in markets awash with supplies.

European stocks were up 0.2 percent in morning trade <.EU>, while Japan's Nikkei average rose 0.7 percent, helped by exporters <.T>.

U.S. stocks notched a fifth straight day of gains on Wednesday as stronger-than-expected corporate results and March retail sales pushed the S&P 500 past 1,200 for the first time in 18 months.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 103.69 points, or 0.94 percent, at 11,123.11. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 13.35 points, or 1.12 percent, at 1,210.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 38.87 points, or 1.58 percent, at 2,504.86.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Erica Billingham)