US STOCKS-Futures up, a day after Yellen points to Dec rate hike
* Futures up: Dow 66 pts, S&P 8 pts, Nasdaq 14.5 pts
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Nov 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday, a day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated that an interest rate hike in December was a "live possibility".
* Wall Street closed lower on Wednesday, retracing recent gains along with energy shares, while Yellen's comments added to investor caution.
* Stocks have rallied since the Fed signaled last week that a December rate hike was still on the table, yet the ongoing debate over when the central bank will move has added to investor uncertainty.
* Yellen's comments sent the dollar to a three-month high against a basket of major currencies on Thursday.
* Higher rates increase borrowing costs for companies, while a rise in the dollar hurts their income from overseas markets.
* Data due on Thursday will likely show that unemployment benefits claims increased by 2,000 to 262,000 last week. The report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), comes ahead of Friday's more comprehensive nonfarm monthly payrolls data.
* A raft of data on Wednesday, including a report showing U.S. private employers maintained a steady pace of hiring in October, suggested the economy was strong enough to support ending an era of near-zero interest rates. Continuación...