Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.53 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.47 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.32 percent at 0900 GMT.

European stocks were down 0.5 percent in morning trade, adding to the previous session's sharp losses as investors fretted about the region's huge refinancing needs in the first quarter, with a French bond auction on deck on Thursday.

The euro currency dropped below $1.29 against the dollar as markets refocused on concerns about the euro zone debt crisis ahead of a French debt auction later in the session.

France plans to raise up to 8 billion euros ($10.3 billion) in 10- to 30-year debt a day after a subdued German bond auction. Berlin attracted only slightly better demand than was seen at a disastrous sale last year.

Investors also awaited a batch of jobs data, with December's Challenger Layoffs survey due at 1230 GMT, the December ADP National Employment report due at 1315 GMT, and the latest weekly jobless claims figures due out at 1330 GMT. That will set the tone for Friday's all-important December non-farm payrolls report.

In addition, December's U.S. ISM non-manufacturing index will be released at 1500 GMT.

U.S. warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp posted a lower-than-expected 7 percent rise in December sales at stores open at least a year, held back by weak foreign currencies versus the U.S. dollar.

Apple Inc has appointed Adobe Systems Inc's Todd Teresi to head its iAd mobile-advertising business, Bloomberg said, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

Eastman Kodak is preparing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing in case it is unable to sell its digital patents to raise capital, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Optical components maker Oclaro Inc forecast stronger-than-expected second-quarter revenue as the company resumed production at many of its manufacturing lines affected by the Thailand floods.

Global spending on information technology will grow more slowly than expected this year due to weaker economies and floods in Thailand, research firm Gartner said on Thursday.

Major U.S. stock indexes were little changed in a low-volume session on Wednesday, but some investors were encouraged to see equities avoid a sell-off amid lingering euro zone's debt problems.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 21.04 points, or 0.17 percent, to 12,418.42. The S&P 500 Index <.SPX> edged up 0.24 point, or 0.02 percent, to 1,277.30. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dipped 0.36 point, or 0.01 percent, to 2,648.36.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Jodie Ginsberg)