* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher opening on Wall Street on Thursday as investors take a breather following the previous session's sharp selloff ahead of key GDP figures and a flurry of corporate earnings.

* At 1000 GMT futures for the S&P 500 SPc1 were up 0.49 percent, for the Dow Jones DJc1 up 0.35 percent and for the Nasdaq 100 NDc1 up 0.27 percent.

* Investors were bracing for U.S. gross domestic product data for the third quarter, due at 1230 GMT, seeking insight on the health of the world's biggest economy following a slew of weak macro data. According to a Reuters poll of 77 economists, the U.S. economy is expected to have grown 3.3 percent at an annualized rate in the third quarter, after shrinking 0.7 percent in the second quarter.

* Energy stocks will be in focus after oil majors Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) and Eni (ENI.MI) warned of a slow recovery, highlighting weak energy demand and operational challenges, as their profits slumped. Shell said it was cutting 5,000 jobs to tackle the tough economic environment.

* The day's U.S. earnings calendar includes quarterly results from Procter & Gamble Co. (PG.N), Aetna (AET.N), Colgate-Palmolive (CL.N), Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM.N), Kellogg Co. (K.N), Motorola (MOT.N) and Sprint Nextel Corp. (S.N).

* Oil prices steadied at above $77 a barrel on Thursday, pausing from the previous session's decline of 2.6 percent, as investors waited for more economic data to gauge the pace of economic recovery.

* The euro edged higher against the dollar and the yen on Thursday ahead of the GDP figures.

* Japan's Nikkei average slid below 10,000 to a three-week closing low on Thursday as a strong yen hurt exporter shares, while European stocks were slightly up in morning trade, as banking stocks such as Barclays (BARC.L) bounced back, offsetting a drop in energy shares as oil remains below $78 a barrel.

* After the bell on Wednesday shares in software maker Symantec Corp (SYMC.O) rose 6.7 percent as it posted results, while LSI Corp (LSI.N) gained 5.2 percent after results.

* U.S. stocks tumbled in a broad sell-off on Wednesday, sending the benchmark S&P 500 lower for a fourth straight day, after weak data on new home sales heightened concerns about the pace of the economic recovery.

* The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI dropped 119.48 points, or 1.21 percent, to 9,762.69 -- its third triple-digit drop in four days. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX fell 20.78 points, or 1.95 percent, to 1,042.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC slid 56.48 points, or 2.67 percent, to 2,059.61.