US STOCKS-Futures up, pointing to rebound after 3-day decline
* S&P 500 poised to gain after three days of losses
* JPMorgan faces criminal probes over mortgages
* Tesla Motor and Groupon rally after results
* Futures up: Dow 38 pts, S&P 6.8 pts, Nasdaq 13.5 pts
NEW YORK, Aug 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday, indicating that equities would rebound following three straight days of losses, though steep gains may be hard to come by with few market catalysts.
Equities have declined this week, pulling back from record levels, on growing concerns the Federal Reserve will start to reduce stimulus this year as the economy recovers.
The S&P 500 fell under its 14-day moving average of 1,694.06, which had been serving as a support level. The index is still up almost 19 percent in 2013.
While investors have digested the new uncertainty over the U.S. central bank's stimulus, Wall Street may struggle to return to its recent records, given a dearth of catalysts. Daily trading volume this week has been among the lowest this year.
"There are still concerns about the Fed, but I think they have largely been priced into markets," said Randy Billhardt, head of capital markets at MLV & Co in New York. "The trend of the market should remain higher."
Equity markets have been closely tied to central bank policy, with many investors concerned economic growth momentum may lose steam without the Fed's help. Weekly jobless claims, due at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT), will be studied for insight into the strength of the market.
Claims are seen rising by 10,000 to 336,000 in the latest week. The last major read on the labor market, last week's July payroll report, was much weaker than expected.
JPMorgan Chase & Co will be in focus a day after the company said it faces a criminal probe by the U.S. Department of Justice over sales of mortgage-backed securities and that civil investigators have already concluded it violated securities laws.
S&P 500 futures rose 6.8 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 added 38 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 13.5 points.
Retail stocks will be in the spotlight as companies report their monthly same-store sales data. Costco Wholesale Corp's July sales came in below expectations.
Shares of Tesla Motors Inc jumped 14 percent to $153 in premarket trading a day after the electric car maker posted an unexpected quarterly profit. The stock has been a major momentum favorite this year, up almost 300 percent in 2013.
Groupon Inc shares soared 22 percent to $10.66 before the bell. On Wednesday, the online coupon company reported revenue that exceeded expectations and named its co-founder as chief executive.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc late Wednesday reported third-quarter revenue that missed expectations, though it raised its full-year profit view. Shares fell 4.8 percent to $75.42 in premarket trading.
Priceline.com Inc and Nvidia Corp are scheduled to report results later Thursday.
Of 434 companies in the S&P 500 that reported earnings through Wednesday morning, Thomson Reuters data showed that 66.8 percent topped analysts' expectations, in line with the 67 percent beat rate over the past four quarters. In terms of revenue, 54.1 percent beat estimates, more than in the past four quarters, but below the 61 percent average since 2002.
Overseas, shares climbed on optimism after China's July exports rose 5.1 percent, topping expectations and spurring hope the world's second-largest economy might be stabilizing after more than two years of slowing growth, although an imminent rebound still looks unlikely.