NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower Wall Street open on Thursday, with earlier gains erased as concerns about global growth spurred investors to take profit following a massive advance in the previous session.
While domestic news, including jobless claims data and corporate earnings, was encouraging, investors continued this week's trend of taking their trading cues from abroad.
German exports dropped by 5.8 percent in August, their biggest fall since January 2009. The data was the latest indication, following bearish reads on industrial output and industrial orders, that Europe's largest economy was faltering amid broader weakness in the euro zone. Separately, data this week showed growth in the Chinese services sector weakened slightly in September.
Data early Thursday showed U.S. jobless claims dropped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000 in the latest week. The report supported September jobs data, which also pointed to improving conditions in the labor market.
The third-quarter earnings season got off to a strong start, with both Alcoa Inc and PepsiCo Inc rallying in premarket trading following results that topped expectations. Alcoa rose 1.9 percent to $16.37 while PepsiCo was up 1.3 percent at $95.15.
Meanwhile, Endo International Plc said it would buy Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc in a deal valued at $2.6 billion, including the repayment and assumption of debt. Shares of Endo dipped 1.4 percent to $70 in premarket trading while Auxilium jumped 10.7 percent to $32.95.
Futures snapshot at 0841 EDT:
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 3.5 points, or 0.18 percent, with 380,495 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 2.75 points, or 0.07 percent, in volume of 51,822 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were down 42 points, or 0.25 percent, with 50,039 contracts changing hands. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)