* Twitter slumps after results
* Green Mountain surges on deal with Coca-Cola
* Initial claims data due
* Retailers report monthly sales
* Futures up: Dow 63 pts, S&P 7.5 pts, Nasdaq 15.75 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Feb 6 U.S. stock index futures
advanced on Thursday, ahead of a rate decision by the European
Central Bank, as well as U.S. labor market data and the latest
round of corporate earnings.
* The ECB, which announces its policy decision at 7:45 a.m.
EST (1245 GMT), is largely expected to keep rates unchanged at
its record low benchmark of 0.25 percent.
* U.S. weekly initial jobless claims are due at 8:30 a.m.
(1330 GMT). Analysts expect 335,000 new filings, down from the
prior week's 348,000.
* Twitter Inc shares tumbled 23 percent to $50.80
in premarket trade. The company reported its slowest pace of
user growth in recent company history after the close on
Wednesday, dimming hopes that the social media phenomenon could
sustain its torrid pace of expansion.
* Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc surged 43.4
percent to $116 before the opening bell. Coca-Cola Co had
bought a 10 percent stake in it for $1.25 billion and would help
launch Green Mountain's new cold drink machine planned for
release as soon as October. Shares of home beverage device maker
SodaStream International dropped 8.1 percent to $32.88
in premarket trading.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 7.5 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 gained
63 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 15.75 points.
* As the U.S. Federal Reserve continues its efforts to wind
down its stimulus measures, investors have turned their focus to
fundamentals such as corporate earnings and economic data.
* However, many participants have wondered if recent soft
data truly reflects the economy or is the result of a harsh
winter, and are looking to Friday's payrolls report for a
clearer indication of the economy's health.
* Investors will eye monthly sales results from retailers
for signs of strength in consumer spending. Costco Wholesale
Corp's January same-store sales beat market
expectations, even as the warehouse club retailer recorded weak
fuel prices and lower international sales in dollar terms.
* Dunkin' Brands Group Inc reported a 23 percent
rise in quarterly profit, driven by higher growth in sales at
its Dunkin' Donuts coffee and sandwich outlets. The company also
boosted its quarterly dividend and announced a new $125 million
share buyback plan.
* Aetna Inc, the third-largest U.S. health insurer,
on Thursday said fourth-quarter profit rose due to the
acquisition of Coventry Healthcare, and it forecast an increase
in medical customers in its private Medicare business in 2014.
* European equities climbed in cautious trading ahead of
rate decisions by central banks, lifted by reassuring earnings
from major companies such as Alcatel-Lucent and AkzoNobel.
* Asian shares took a tentative step forward from five-month
lows, with investors hoping the ECB and upcoming U.S. jobs data
will calm nerves strained by a recent rout in emerging markets.