US STOCKS-Futures higher ahead of raft of economic data
* Futures up: Dow 42 pts, S&P 6.25 pts, Nasdaq 13 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
Dec 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday as Wall Street looked to break a three-day losing streak ahead of a raft of economic data.
* Markets have had a bruising week so far as equities tracked oil prices. Brent futures are down more than 6 percent this week and having dipped below $40 per barrel there are renewed expectations it might test 2008's low.
* U.S. stocks closed lower on Wednesday in a choppy session as oil resumed its decline, fuelling investor worries about global economic growth.
* Data expected on Thursday include weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT) that are expected to remain unchanged at 269,000 as the labor market approaches full employment and there is little room for further declines.
* Separately, import and export prices are expected to have dropped 0.7 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, in November.
* The Treasury Department is likely to post a budget deficit of $68 billion in November, compared to a gap of $136 billion in the previous month. That data is expected at 2:00 p.m. ET.
* Investors will be keeping an eye on the data and movements in the oil market just ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting on Dec. 15-16. The Fed is widely expected to raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade next week. Continuación...