* ECB holds interest rates steady
* ECB could reconsider policy in March-Draghi
* Verizon gains on better-than-expected profit
* Futures up: Dow 87 pts, S&P 78 pts, Nasdaq 87 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures reversed course to trade higher on Thursday after the European Central Bank held rates at record lows and President Mario Draghi’s comments boosted prospects of continued stimulus.
Draghi said rates are expected to remain at current levels or lower for an extended period and that the central bank would “review and possibly reconsider” it monetary policy stance when it next meets in March.
Oil prices also sharply pared their losses, while European stocks added to their gains after Draghi’s comments.
Draghi’s comments come a day after a rout in global stocks that was spurred by the relentless drop in oil prices and fears of a China-led slowdown in global growth.
A volatile session on Wall Street on Wednesday ended with the S&P 500 closing at its lowest since October 2014. The index has declined 9 percent this year.
Some investors, however, expect the market to stabilize as stock valuations are reassessed and buyers enter the field.
“This is a normal garden variety correction, with levels that set the playing field a little bit,” said Philip Blancato, chief executive at Ladenberg Thalmann Asset Management in New York.
“The reality is that the energy sector continues to be a catalyst for concern. So for today’s market, if oil gives us any modicum of stabilization, I think the overall market could be relatively flat to up today,” he said.
At 8:33 a.m. ET (1330 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 87 points, or 0.55 percent, with 85,033 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were up 14.5 points, or 0.78 percent, with 492,661 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 36 points, or 0.87 percent, on volume of 95,961 contracts.
Data showed U.S. jobless claims rose unexpectedly to six-month highs last week, suggesting some loss of momentum in the labor market.
In corporate news, Verizon shares rose 1 percent to $44.90 after the wireless carrier reported better-than-expected profit.
Travelers dropped 0.6 percent to $103 after reporting a 16.6 percent decline in profit.
Kinder Morgan was up 4.6 percent at $12.56 after the pipeline company swung to a quarterly loss.
Xilinx jumped 9 percent to $47 after the chipmaker’s quarterly revenue beat expectations.
American Express, Starbucks and Schlumberger are slated to report after the close.
Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza