* Futures up: Dow 153 pts, S&P 21.5 pts, Nasdaq 49.5 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
July 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday after Beijing's efforts to halt a rout in Chinese stocks finally bore fruit and the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled it might hold off on raising interest rates.
* China's securities regulator, in its most drastic step yet to arrest a selloff on Chinese stock markets, banned shareholders with large stakes in listed firms from selling for the next six months.
* About 30 percent has been knocked off the value of Chinese shares since mid-June, and for some global investors the fear that China's market turmoil will destabilize the global financial system is now a bigger risk than the crisis in Greece.
* Fed officials need to see more signs of a strengthening U.S. economy before raising interest rates, according to minutes of the central bank's June policy meeting, at which Greece's debt crisis was cited as a serious concern.
* European markets rose on hopes that Greece might be able to win a last-minute deal that could keep it in the euro zone.
* Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has until midnight to propose spending-cut plans that will convince the euro zone to give Athens a three-year loan to rescue it from bankruptcy.
* U.S. stocks fell sharply on Wednesday as market turmoil in China, a rout in commodity prices, the Greek crisis and a major outage on the New York Stock Exchange spooked investors.
* The NYSE resumed trade late in the trading day after a technical problem forced a suspension for more than three hours in the biggest outage to hit a U.S. financial market in nearly two years.
* U.S. quarterly earnings season kicked off with Alcoa's quarterly profit missing expectations due to plunging primary aluminum prices. Corporate profits are expected to have fallen 3.1 percent in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters estimates data.
* Weekly jobless claims data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT). Initial claims are expected to have declined by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 275,000.
* Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota and Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard are all scheduled to speak at events later in the day.
* PepsiCo shares rose 3 percent to $98.49 in premarket trading after the snacks and beverage maker reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue.
Futures snapshot at 7:09 a.m. ET:
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 21.25 points, or 1.04 percent, with 202,364 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 49.5 points, or 1.14 percent, on volume of 28,376 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were up 153 points, or 0.88 percent, with 28,920 contracts changing hands (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Ted Kerr)