U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Thursday after a bearish analyst comment on semiconductor stocks pressured the technology sector, even as data showed no change in weekly jobless claims.

The Labor Department said the number of U.S. workers filing for jobless insurance was unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 505,000 in the week ended November 14, as expected.

This was a bit disappointing because they did not break below the 500,000 level, said Tom Sowanick, chief investment officer at Omnivest Group in Princeton, New Jersey. On the positive side, the four-week moving average continues to decline.

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch cut its 2010 growth outlook for the global semiconductor industry, citing the potential for a correction in inventory levels. The firm downgraded 10 companies, including Intel Corp , Texas Instruments Inc and Marvell Technology Corp .

Intel, a Dow component, fell 3 percent to $19.51 before the bell, while Marvell sank 3.7 percent to $15.50, and Texas Instruments lost 3 percent to $24.98.

S&P 500 futures fell 7.5 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 dropped 44 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures slid 10.75 points.

Sears Holding Corp rose 4.3 percent to $79.01 in premarket trading after it reported a third-quarter loss that was narrower than expected, helped by improvement in its Kmart division.

General Electric Co expects anemic 2010 revenue growth for its technology infrastructure segment, as the United States and Europe remain mired in an economic downturn, signaling the worst is not over for GE. [ID:nHKG257340]

GE, a Dow component, dipped 0.7 percent to $15.97.

Williams-Sonoma Inc was up 3.7 percent to $21.80 after the company reported an adjusted third-quarter profit that beat expectations and raised its full-year outlook.

Quarterly results from Dell Inc are scheduled for after the market closes. Investors are also looking ahead to the October leading index and Philadelphia business index for November.

(Additional reporting by Jennifer Ablan; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)