* Jobless claims, consumer prices data on tap
* Cisco, Wal-Mart shares fall after results
* Futures down: Dow 47 pts, S&P 7.8 pts, Nasdaq 18 pts
NEW YORK, Aug 15 U.S. stock index futures fell
on Thursday on continued uncertainty over when, and how quickly,
the Federal Reserve will begin to wind down its program to
stimulate the world's largest economy.
* The Fed has been buying $85 billion in bonds each month,
boosting stocks and keeping interest rates low. St. Louis
Federal Reserve President James Bullard said Wednesday the U.S.
central bank, which meets again in September, should have more
evidence about the economy and inflation before it can make a
decision to taper.
* Trading volume has been low, as it tends to be in August,
with the earnings season winding down and economic indicators
presenting a mixed view on growth, complicating predictions
about the Fed's next policy course.
* Traders will eye the Labor Department's jobless claims
data, due for release at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT). Economists in
a Reuters survey forecast a total of 335,000 new filings
compared with 333,000 in the prior week.
* Also due for release at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT) is the
consumer price index for July, followed by industrial production
and capacity utilization data for July at 9:15 a.m. (1315 GMT).
* Energy shares may be in focus as Brent oil prices climb
above $111 per barrel to a four-month high on fears that
escalating violence in Egypt could affect the Suez Canal or
spread in the Middle East. The death toll from nationwide
political violence climbed to 525, Egypt's health ministry said.
* S&P 500 futures fell 7.8 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 fell 47
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 18 points.
* Cisco Systems shares fell 7.8 percent to $24.32
in premarket trading a day after the network equipment maker
posted earnings and said it would cut 4,000 jobs in the face of
uncertain demand for its networking equipment.
* Shares of Wal-Mart fell 1.8 percent to $75 in
premarket trading after it posted disappointing quarterly U.S.
sales as shoppers were pinched by higher payroll taxes and gas