U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Thursday ahead of data on weekly jobless claims and international trade.

The Labor Department releases the jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 460,000 new filings, compared with 469,000 in the prior week.

The Commerce Department releases January international trade figures also at 8:30 a.m. EST. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a $41.0 billion deficit, compared with a $40.18 billion deficit in December. For details, see

London-based oil major BP Plc has agreed to buy Brazilian, Azeri and Gulf of Mexico fields from Devon Energy Corp for $7 billion. Devon shares up 3.2 percent to $74 in premarket trading.

S&P 500 futures fell 3 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 slipped 5 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 1.25 points.

Later Thursday, Pall Corp
and National Semiconductor Corp are due to report quarterly results.

Citigroup Inc Chief Executive Vikram Pandit, at a conference on Thursday, is set to forecast returns of 1.25 percent a year or more on the bank's main assets within a few years, the Financial Times reported.

U.S. regulators are stepping up an investigation into Google Inc's plans to buy mobile advertising company AdMob, suggesting the government may challenge the $750 million deal, Bloomberg reported.

Microsoft Corp will put its Bing search and mapping services on Motorola Inc phones that use Google's Android operating system under a new deal.

American International Group Inc could know before the end of June whether the stalled $2.2 billion sale of its Taiwan Nan Shan Life unit can go ahead after Taiwan's regulators subjected it to more scrutiny.

Overseas, European shares were little changed as weaker banking and commodity stocks offset gains in utilities and automobiles, while Hong Kong and China stocks were slightly higher on strength in banks.

Bank and technology shares lifted Wall Street on Wednesday on hopes THAT a revival in business demand will boost corporate profits.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)