U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open for Wall Street on Thursday, ahead of results from JPMorgan Chase & Co
* At 4:39 a.m. EDT, futures for the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down between 0.5 and 0.7 percent.
* The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent at 790.83 points, with most banks rising, and ahead of results from tech bellwether Nokia
* JPMorgan is expected to report a small profit for the first quarter on improved results from trading and investment banking.
* Other companies reporting include Biogen
* General Growth Properties Inc
* Housing starts for March are expected to have fallen to 540,000, from 583,000, according to a Reuters survey. * Other economic data due includes weekly jobless numbers, expected to have edged up. * U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday as investors took heart from the glimmer of hope offered by different economic reports. [nSP172565]
* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 1.4 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 1.3 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 0.1 percent.
(Reporting by Brian Gorman; Editing by David Holmes)