* Futures up: Dow 31 pts, S&P 6.5 pts, Nasdaq 15 pts
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday, a day after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s October meeting flagged a December interest rate hike and pointed to a cautious approach after that.
* Risk appetite rose across the world, sending stocks and commodities higher.
* The minutes showed that central bankers are grappling with longer-term issues that may be relevant to the pace of subsequent rate hikes
* U.S. interest rates futures implied a 72 percent chance of a liftoff next month, up from 64 percent on Tuesday.
* Jobless data for last week, due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT), is expected to show a fall in claims to 271,000 from 276,000.
* Best Buy’s shares were down 8 percent to $28.82 in premarket trading, while J M Smucker was untraded after both reported results.
* Dow component UnitedHealth’s shares were down 3.8 percent to $112.80 in premarket trading after the health insurer cut its full-year profit forecast. Peers Humana fell 1.2 percent, while Cigna was down half a percent.
* Salesforce was up 7.3 percent at $83 after its quarterly adjusted profit beat estimates and the online sales software maker raised full-year revenue forecast.
* Keurig Green Mountain jumped 16.3 percent to $47.10 after the company’s quarterly results beat estimates.
* Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart are slated to speak later in the day.
Futures snapshot at 7:05 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were up 31 points, or 0.18 percent, with 19,189 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.5 points, or 0.31 percent, with 126,694 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 15 points, or 0.32 percent, on volume of 19,463 contracts. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru)