* Boeing union ratifies contract extension
* Weekly jobless claims seen dropping in latest week
* Futures down: Dow 11 pts, S&P 1.4 pts, Nasdaq 2.5 pts
*By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Dec 8 U.S. stock index futures dipped
on Thursday after three straight winning sessions as investors
bet leaders at a euro zone summit will come up with a solution
to the region's debt crisis.
* The European Central Bank is expected to cut interest
rates and unveil a new package of bank aid later Thursday.
Market participants also looked for any hints the ECB will
intensify its bond buying for the region's struggling
peripheral economies.* Despite choppy trade, Wall Street has risen for three
straight days on optimism European leaders would agree on a
decisive plan to fight the crisis at Friday's EU summit. If the
meeting disappoints, stocks may give up gains of about 9
percent, reached since Nov. 25. European stocks were little
changed in light volume early Thursday.
* S&P 500 futures fell 1.4 points and were below
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 lost 11
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures sank 2.5 points.
* Late Wednesday, Standard & Poor's warned it could cut the
credit ratings of the European Union and large area banks if a
mass downgrade of euro zone countries materializes. The
rating agency has said it may downgrade nearly all 17 euro zone
countries if no solution emerges to solve the crisis.
* Boeing Co's biggest labor union ratified a
four-year contract extension late Wednesday, ensuring a new
version its 737 narrowbody plane will be built in Washington
state and likely ending a dispute with the National Labor
* Weekly jobless claims are scheduled for release at 8:30
a.m. EST (1330 GMT) and are seen falling to 395,000 from
402,000 in the previous week.
* Brown-Forman Corp and Pall Corp are
scheduled to report quarterly results later in the day.
* Costco Wholesale Corp reported
first-quarter earnings and revenue that rose from the prior
* McGraw-Hill Cos Inc launched a $500 million
share repurchase program and said it will cut about
550 jobs from its textbook unit as it splits into two
* Hopes for a euro zone solution inspired enough buying to
push U.S. stocks to a third day of gains on Wednesday in light