Stock index futures fell on Thursday, pointing to a weaker start for Wall Street. By 0859 GMT (3:59 a.m. ET), futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq slipped 0.2 to 0.3 percent.

BP has agreed to buy Brazilian, Azeri and Gulf of Mexico assets from Devon Energy for $7 billion, as the U.S. oil producer refocuses on onshore U.S. fields. Shares in Devon Energy in Frankfurt soared nearly 12 percent.

The Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims data at 1330 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 460,000 new filings compared with 469,000 in the prior week.

The Commerce Department releases January international trade figures. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a $41.0 billion deficit compared with a $40.18 billion deficit in December.

Tech stocks may be in focus after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co <2330.TW> and AU Optronics <2409.TW> said they would boost their workforces this year. Their announcement provided further evidence the technology sector is recovering from last year's slump.

Citigroup Chief Executive Vikram Pandit is set to forecast returns of 1.25 percent a year or more on the bank's main assets within a few years, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

American International Group could know before the end of June whether the stalled $2.2 billion sale of its Taiwan Nan Shan Life unit can go ahead, after the island's regulators subjected it to more scrutiny.

U.S. regulators are stepping up their investigation into Google Inc's planned acquisition of mobile advertising company AdMob, suggesting that the government may challenge the $750 million deal, according to a media report on Wednesday.

Motorola Inc has reached a deal with Microsoft Corp that will put Bing search and mapping services on its phones that use Google's Android operating system.

Black & Decker Corp CEO Nolan Archibald could win a pay package worth more than $89 million if company investors approve the company's proposed acquisition by rival toolmaker Stanley Works , according to the Wall Street Journal.

The cost overrun on the main engine for the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet has grown by $600 million over the past year, despite tough cost-cutting measures by engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp , a Navy document showed.

Bank and technology shares lifted Wall Street on Wednesday on hopes a revival in business demand will boost corporate profits.

The Dow Jones <.DJI> edged up 2.95 points, or 0.03 percent, to end at 10,567.33. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 5.16 points, or 0.45 percent, to 1,145.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 18.27 points, or 0.78 percent, to 2,358.95.

(Reporting by Dominic Lau; Editing by Hans Peters)