U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.61 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.51 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.44 percent at 1030 GMT (5:30 a.m. EST).

Tech shares will be in the spotlight ahead of Dell results and after Sony Corp <6758.T> said it aims to earn a 5 percent operating profit margin in three years by turning its struggling LCD TV and game operations profitable next year and launching 3D TVs and lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

Europe's chip industry is joining the global recovery, two of its top players signaled, with Germany's Infineon seeing sales growth next year and Dutch ASML expecting at least stable quarterly order intake.

Investors also awaited results from retailers Gap and Sears .

The banking sector will be in the spotlight after Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group <8306.T>, Japan's biggest bank, unveiled a $11 billion capital hike, sending its shares down nearly 4 percent, and dragging the Nikkei index <.N225> to a four-month closing low.

European stocks were down 0.3 percent in morning trade, with food major Danone losing ground after the company trimmed its medium-term target.

U.S. crude futures inched lower, below $80 a barrel, trading in the middle of recent ranges and taking cues from the dollar and weather in the United States. The dollar rose as equity and commodity markets fell, encouraging investors to pare back exposure to risky assets.

Federal Reserve officials on Thursday downplayed the consequences of the falling U.S. dollar, underscoring that deflation is still a threat, especially with commercial real estate prices falling.

General Electric Co expects anemic revenue growth in 2010 for its technology infrastructure segment, as the United States and Europe remain mired in an economic downturn, signaling the worst is not yet over for the largest U.S. conglomerate.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is beefing up in Europe by buying the half of Cazenove it does not already own in a deal valuing the 190-year old UK stockbroker at $3.4 billion.

Blackstone Group's Pinnacle Brands Corp is likely to buy U.S. frozen vegetable company Birds Eye Foods for more than $1.3 billion, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Nokia Siemens Networks and private equity firm One Equity Partners have jointly bid for Nortel Networks Corp's optical networking and carrier ethernet business, a person familiar with the sale said on Wednesday, challenging Ciena Corp's $526 million bid for the assets.

Aetna Inc on Wednesday said it expects to eliminate roughly 1,250 jobs by the end of March 2010, reflecting weak economic conditions and the potential impact of health care reform.

The day's economic agenda includes the Labor Department's first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended November 14 at 1330 GMT (8:30 a.m. EST). Also, the Conference Board releases its report on October leading economic indicators at 1500 GMT (10 a.m. EST), and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank releases its November business activity survey, also at 1500 GMT (10 a.m. EST).

After the bell on Wednesday, shares of DCP Midstream fell 4.4 percent after it announced a public offering of common units, while shares of Jack in the Box fell 5.1 percent after it reported results.

Gymboree Corp slid 4.9 percent in extended trade after the company reported third-quarter earnings and forecast a low-to-mid single digit decrease in comparable store sales for the fourth quarter, while shares of Hot Topic fell 6 percent after it reported results, and shares of NetApp declined 1.8 percent after it reported.

U.S. stocks broke three days of gains on Wednesday following worrisome outlooks from two major software makers and a surprising drop in home construction last month.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 11.11 points, or 0.11 percent, to 10,426.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dipped just 0.52 of a point, or 0.05 percent, to finish at 1,109.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 10.64 points, or 0.48 percent, to end at 2,193.14.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)