Stock index futures extended gains on Thursday after data showed new U.S. claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week to its lowest in more than 3-1/2 years, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining speed.

S&P 500 futures rose 7.3 points and were above 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 were up 59 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 13.50 points.

(Reporting By Angela Moon; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)