* Futures: Dow down 18 pts, S&P flat, Nasdaq down 1 pt
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Nov 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday ahead of scheduled speeches by several Federal Reserve policymakers, including Chair Janet Yellen, and weekly jobless claims data.
* Investors will parse the data and policymakers’ remarks for clues on if the central bank will raise interest rates next month, as is widely expected.
* Yellen is scheduled speak at 9:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT). Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, New York Fed President William Dudley and Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer are also scheduled to speak during the day.
* The Fed has maintained that it is likely to pull the trigger next month if data supports its view that the economy was strong enough to withstand higher rates.
* In contrast, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hinted on Thursday that the bank could extend stimulus programs at its policy meeting next month as inflation dynamics had somewhat weakened.
* U.S. data due on Thursday is expected to show jobless claims benefits fell 6,000 to 270,000 last week, indicating continued improvement in the labor market. The data is due at 8:30 a.m.
* U.S. stocks closed lower on Wednesday, weighed down by a slide in energy stocks and brick-and-mortar retailers after Macy’s weak results and forecast.
* Department store operator Kohl’s reported better-than-expected quarterly net sales on Thursday, sending its shares up 9.13 percent to $47.10 premarket.
* Advanced Auto Parts dropped 6.5 percent to $182 after it reported quarterly profit below estimates.
* PayPal’s shares were down 1.2 percent at $35.90 after the Wall Street Journal reported Apple was in talks with U.S. banks to develop a rival payment service.
* Nordstrom and Cisco are slated to report results after the close.
Futures snapshot at 7:28 a.m. ET:
* S&P 500 e-minis were unchanged, with 116,890 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 1 points, or 0.02 percent, on volume of 20,292 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were down 18 points, or 0.1 percent, with 18,644 contracts changing hands. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)