US STOCKS-Futures rise ahead of results, jobless claims data
* Futures up: Dow 51 pts, S&P 7.75 pts, Nasdaq 19.5 pts
Oct 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday ahead of a host of key earnings reports and economic data.
* Dow components 3M, Caterpillar and McDonald's report results before the bell, while technology majors Microsoft, Alphabet, AT&T and Amazon are due to report after the close.
* Dow Chemicals rose 3.2 percent to $49.00 premarket after its results.
* Global stocks were up ahead of a policy-setting meeting by the European Central Bank (ECB). Chinese stocks recovered from Wednesday's selloff.
* The ECB is unlikely to take new policy steps as it awaits fresh indications about the outlook for euro zone inflation.
* U.S. data scheduled for Thursday includes unemployment benefits claims. The data, due at 08:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), is expected to show last week's claims increased to 265,000.
* Existing home sales are expected to have grown 1.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.38 million units in September. The data is due at 10:00 a.m.
* Investors will parse the earnings reports and the data for clues that could help decide the timing of an interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Continuación...