* Futures up: Dow 4 pts, S&P 0.25 pts, Nasdaq 3 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Dec 8 U.S. stock index futures were little
changed on Thursday, a day after the Dow and the S&P 500 hit new
highs, while investors awaited the European Central Bank's
decision on monetary policy.
* The ECB is expected to announce an extension of its
stimulus program at 7:45 a.m. ET (1245 GMT) followed by
President Mario Draghi's press conference at 8:30 a.m. ET.
* Donald Trump's election as U.S. president last month
sparked a euphoria on Wall Street, with investors chasing stocks
that are likely to gain from his proposals of higher
infrastructure spending and simpler industry regulation.
* The Dow Transportation index marked its first
record high since 2014 on Wednesday, adding to the bullish tone
for equities. The three major Wall Street indexes gained more
than 1 percent at the close.
* A report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show 10,000
fewer Americans applied for jobless benefits last week, building
on a spate of data that has pointed to a robust economy.
* China reported that imports grew at the fastest pace in
more than two years in November, while exports also picked up
* Oil prices gained more than 1 percent, rising for the
first time in three days, supported by a weaker dollar, even as
investors remained doubtful if the OPEC's production cut deal
would be enough to reduce oversupply.
* Investors, however, may tread cautiously ahead of the
Federal Reserve's meeting next week, where there is a more than
90 percent chance of an interest rate hike.
* Lululemon soared 15.6 percent to $69.20
premarket, after the yoga and leisure apparel retailer reported
a better-than-expected quarterly profit.
* Costco rose 1.67 percent to $156.42 in thin
trading after the warehouse club retailer reported a quarterly
profit that beat analysts' expectations.
Futures snapshot at 6:57 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were up 4 points, or 0.02 percent,
with 22,692 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01
percent, with 147,046 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 3 points, or 0.06
percent, on volume of 14,522 contracts.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by