* Jobless claims, manufacturing data on tap
* Futures up: Dow 22 pts, S&P 0.5 pt, Nasdaq 5.75 pts
* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
NEW YORK, June 30 U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a fourth day of gains for Wall Street on Thursday,
the day the Federal Reserve ends its QE2 bond buying program,
as optimism that Greece's debt problems are getting resolved
helped lift equities from their recent lows.
* The S&P 500 gained more than 3 percent in its best
three-day run in three months this week as the Greek parliament
adopted austerity measures to avoid a debt default. The
parliament is expected to pass a second austerity measure on
Thursday. For details, see [ID:nL3E7HU09J]
* The Federal Reserve ends its $600 billion bond-buying
program, known as QE2, on Thursday and has not offered any
hints of more monetary easing. Markets were volatile in May and
June, partly on concerns about QE2's end. [ID:nN1E75Q0FF]
* S&P 500 futures SPc1 added 0.5 point 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 DJc1 gained 22
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc1 rose 5.75 points.
* The S&P 500 retook its April low at around 1,295, putting
a floor under the market, but analysts said it could struggle
to pass back above its 50-day moving average at around 1,316.
* With new signs of a slowdown in the U.S. economy,
investors will closely watch key data coming during the
* The Labor Department releases first-time weekly jobless
claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT). Economists forecast a total
of 420,000 new filings, compared with 429,000 in the prior
* The Chicago PMI is expected to show activity in the U.S.
Midwest slowed in June. The data comes at 9:45 a.m. EDT (1345
GMT) In addition, the Institute for Supply Management in New
York releases at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) its June index of
regional business activity.
* News Corp (NWSA.O) secured UK government backing for its
controversial buyout of British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC
BSY.L after a key minister rejected complaints it would give
News Chairman Rupert Murdoch too much power and influence.
* AMR Corp's AMR.N American Airlines is negotiating with
aircraft makers Airbus EAD.PA and Boeing Co (BA.N) to replace
its entire domestic fleet by purchasing at least 250 airplanes
in a deal valued at about $15 billion, the Wall Street Journal
* Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) will spend what it takes to come
up with innovative drugs over the long term, its chief
executive said, even though its earnings are expected to tumble
over the next three years. [ID:nN1E75S243]
* The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top
shares was up 0.3 percent early Thursday, while Japan's Nikkei
average .N225 closed 0.2 percent higher.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)