The S&P 500 index futures fell on Thursday on weaker-than-expected results from Wal-Mart and as investors closely eyed jobs and inflation data.

Wal-Mart shares dipped 2 percent to $53.00 in premarket trading after the retail giant reported fourth-quarter results and gave an outlook.

Dell , the world's No. 3 PC maker, is expected to post fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.27 against $0.29 a year ago. Dell struggled through the economic downturn and investors hope the firm will say it benefited from a strong uptick in corporate spending on IT hardware, although deep market share losses and a lack of diversity in its business model may still worry Wall Street.

On Wednesday, Hewlett-Packard and Applied Materials beat estimates with their latest earnings and raised guidance for the year.

The Labor Department will release its weekly report on initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. EST, with economists expecting 430,000 new claims compared with last week's reading of 440,000.

S&P 500 futures fell 2 points and in line with 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 fell 2 points, but Nasdaq 100 futures were up 2 points.

January Producer Price Index will be released at 8:30 a.m. EST, with consensus forecasts calling for a rise of 0.8 percent following a 0.4 percent rise in December. The core rate, which excludes food and energy, is expected to show a gain of 0.1 percent compared to December's unchanged reading.

The Philadelphia Fed index is out at 10 a.m. EST, with a reading of 17.0 expected for February. That is above the 15.2 registered in February. Also at 10 a.m., the Conference Board issues its index of leading economic indicators for February, with a 0.5 percent rise considered likely following January's 1.1 percent increase.

Other companies reporting results on Thursday include CBS Corp , Intuit , Apache Corp and Hormel Foods .

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said that several policymakers want to begin selling securities relatively soon to cut back the U.S. central bank's massive help to the financial system as the economy finds a footing.

Gold prices also will be in focus after the International Monetary Fund said it would soon begin sales of 191.3 tonnes of gold remaining in its plan to raise new resources for lending, with traders saying it may seek buyers among Asian central banks.

(Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)