* Weekly jobless claims data on tap
* ECB holds main interest rate at 0.75 percent
* Qualcomm rises after results, Whole Foods falls
* Dow up 22 pts, S&P up 4.8 pt, Nasdaq up 9 pts
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Nov 8 U.S. stock index futures rose on
Thursday ahead of job market data a day after major equity
indexes posted their largest drops in months.
Equities slumped more than 2 percent Wednesday as investor
focus returned to Europe's economic troubles and as the
electoral victory by President Barack Obama turned markets'
focus to the looming "fiscal cliff."
Investors worry that if no deal is agreed in Congress over
some $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases due to kick
in early next year, it could derail the U.S. economic recovery.
"To the extent we start to see some clarification of what
(Congress) is thinking about, whatever it may be, it will
provide some confidence," said Rick Meckler, president of
investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City,
He said the open-ended nature of what the fix may be for
taxes has flooded markets with uncertainty.
Futures added to early gains as the euro slightly cut losses
versus the U.S. dollar after the European Central Bank held its
main interest rate at 0.75 percent, despite dovish comments
Wednesday from ECB president Mario Draghi that stirred market
rumors of a rate cut.
A rise in the U.S. dollar also weighed on equities
S&P 500 futures rose 4.8 points and were up in terms
of 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 added 22
points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 9 point.
Wednesday's retreat marked the biggest daily drop for the
S&P 500 since June 1; the index closed below the key 1,400 level
for the first time since Aug. 30. Despite Wednesday's selloff,
the benchmark S&P 500 is still up more than 10 percent so far
The latest reading on the labor market will come with the
release of weekly jobless claims, due at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT).
Qualcomm Inc late Wednesday reported quarterly
revenue that beat expectations, sending shares up more than 7
percent in premarket trading.
Whole Foods Market Inc reported earnings that met
expectations but its shares fell 3 percent before the market